Baseball Betting: The Race For The Playoffs Heats Up
In baseball circles, they call it the “dog days of summer”. It’s that point in the MLB season when the weather is scorching hot and the final surge towards the playoffs begins. It’s also the point in the season when sports bettors might have one last shot at getting a little value when betting on a team to win the World Series.
For the most part, futures odds bettors like to focus on betting teams to win the World Series. Taking the long view, bettors assure themselves of getting the best value possible if their team wins it all. With that said, a team has to make it into the playoffs for a chance to win the pennant. Only the teams that win the AL and NL pennants can possibly win the World Series.
Keeping all of this in mind, let’s look at the playoff scramble in the AL and NL. From that information, the World Series odds might point out some betting value for astute sports bettors.
Americal League Playoff Race
With about 30 games remaining in the season, any team more than 10 games out in their division is likely eliminated. Furthermore, any team that is more than five games out of a wild card place is likely eliminated. Here is how the AL shapes up right now.
In the AL EAST, the Boston Red Sox seem to be fading from division contention. That leaves the Tampa Bay Ray 5.0 games in front of the New York Yankees. However, the bats are alive in New York, and the Yankees are charging. All three teams are Wild Card contenders.
In the AL CENTRAL, the Chicago White Sox are running away with the division, and no one else has a shot at a wild card spot.
In the AL WEST, the Houston Astros have a small lead with the Oakland A’s and surprising Seattle Mariners in close pursuit. At this point, any of these three teams can win the division, and all three teams have a good shot at a Wild Card Sport
The best World Series value in the AL sits with three teams: White Sox (+600), Yankees (+1400), and Mariners (+6600). With the trade deadline pickups, the Yankees have a lot of hitting. If the pitching can hold together, +1400 might be stealing money.
National League Playoff Race
In the NL EAST, winning the division is crucial. Why? It doesn’t look like the also-rans will have enough to secure a wild card spot. Currently, the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies can all win the division with a surge. The Braves are surging.
In the NL CENTRAL, the Milwaukee Brewers are running away with the division. However, the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals are still in the running for a Wild Card spot.
In the NL WEST, the San Francisco Giants and rival Los Angeles Dodgers have the two best records in baseball respectively. Both teams will make the playoffs, one will win the division and the other will be a Wild Card team. Surprisingly, the San Diego Padres are 12.5 games out of the division race but could sull get a Wild Card Spot.
The Dodgers might be the best team in baseball again but offer no value at +300 to win the World Series. If the Braves (+1800) win the Series despite the loss of superstar Ronald Acuna, that would be the sports story of the year. At +2500, the Padres offer great value because they are young, hungry, and have great balance when healthy.