When MLB decided to tweak the format of the playoffs, one hope was it would bring more excitement to the wild card games. In that regard, everything went as planned as round one produced three upsets out of the four series that were played.

The #6 seed Philadelphia Phillies took down the #3 seed St Louis Cardinals (2-0). The #5 seed San Diego Padres emerged victorious over the #4 seed New York Mets (2-1), also in the NL. And the #5 seed Seattle Mariners beat the #4 seed Toronto Blue Jays in 2 games (2-0) in the AL.

The only lower seed to survive was the #3 Cleveland Guardians in the AL with a take-down of the #6 seed Tampa Bay Rays in two games.

Moving into the Division Series, sports bettors have got to be wondering if the upsets will continue. Considering how well the top seeds have been playing all year, surely the trend won’t continue? With that said, there are a couple of interesting underdogs lurking in the weeds.

National League

Regardless of the current matchups, all eyes in the NL have to be on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Going 111-51, they set a franchise record for wins in a season.

Here’s the reality. The record correctly reflects the talent that is on this team. In spite of significant injuries to top pitchers all season long, they were able to keep rolling out aces. That’s clearly indicated by the fact the Dodgers finished #1 in MLB for ERA and WHIP. Factor in the team’s ranking as the #1 offense in MLB, and one gets the feeling there will be no upset at the hands of the San Diego Padres. The Padres just don’t match up well in this one.

The other matchup between the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves is intriguing. With 101 wins on the season and a World Series title to defend, the Braves figure to be tough. They too have a formable offense and a pretty good pitching staff to boot.

What the Phillies have is a roster of big hitters who can collectively get hot at the drop of a hat. That includes Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Kyle Schwarber (47 HRs). If the offense gets hot collectively, the Phillies have the ability to upset the apple cart in this series.

American League

Shocker. The Houston Astros and the New York Yankees are the top two seeds respectively in the AL. Both teams have great pitching staffs that ranked #1 and #2 respectively in the AL by a large margin. The question is is that margin enough to stave off each team’s respective opponent?

The Astros will take the field against the Mariners. The Astros are the quintessential 5-tool team. They can run, hit, hit for power, throw, and the Astro’s pitching is beyond reproach.

In fact, not one Astros pitcher finished the season with an ERA above 4.00. That’s an incredible statistic. Since the Astros have tons of playoff experience and the Mariners are here for the first time in 21 years, winning this series will be a tall order for the guys from Seattle.

The Yankees, however, look more vulnerable. Yes, they have Aaron Judge, who just recorded one of the greatest offensive seasons in MLB, but no other lights shone. Most concerning is how well the Yanks played before the All-Star games and the team’s subsequent struggles.

Meanwhile, the Guardians quietly ran away with the AL Central by 11 games. They have a solid offense, defense, and the 5th best pitching staff in MLB. One gets the sense the Yankees are ripe for the picking and the Guardians might be just the team to do it.