The main highlight of the 2019 Major League Baseball season has to be the amount of pure excellence that we’ve had, as well as some absolute dismal play from others.
For example, we would have four 100-win teams including the Houston Astros (107-55), Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56), New York Yankees (103-59) and Minnesota Twins (101-61), as well as other teams close to the 100-win mark such as the Atlanta Braves (97-65) and Oakland Athletics (97-65). On the other end of the spectrum, you have piles of garbage in the form of the 47-114 Detroit Tigers (Shout out to the Mo though!), the 54-108 Baltimore Orioles (Shout out to the DMV!) and the 57-105 Miami Marlins (Shout out to South Florida!). Hey, at least I could give them shout outs.
Anyways, the point is that we’ve seen some really great baseball this season, but we’ve also seen some really bad baseball in the process. But now we’re here in the Major League Baseball playoffs, where we no longer have to deal with the horrid teams. Now it’s the previously-mentioned 100-win teams, the 97-win ball clubs, all going head-to-head against one another for ultimate supremacy.
In a lot of ways, this year’s particular postseason has actually been building up since 2017, at least when you look at the headlines coming in. For example, you have the Los Angeles Dodgers who are looking to avoid a third straight World Series defeat, the Houston Astros trying to pull in their second championship in three years and you have teams like the Atlanta Braves still trying to prove their doubters wrong and shift the power across baseball — if you recall, barely any pundits had them even in the postseason in Spring Training.
According to the top baseball betting sites, the Houston Astros are currently the top betting favorite to win the 2019 World Series at +210 odds, while the Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t that far behind them in second place at +300. In the No. 3 position, the New York Yankees fill that spot with a +450 figure, and then it starts to get a bit more distant with the Atlanta Braves in fourth with +750 odds. Rounding out the top five, the Minnesota Twins take us there at +1300. In sixth place, the Washington Nationals take that position with a +1500 mark, while the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics come in a tie for seventh at +1800. In the No. 9 spot, the Tampa Bay Rays place at +2000, and the Milwaukee Brewers take us to the end of the odds list at +2200.
For our viewing pleasure, you can watch tonight’s National League wild card game between the Brewers and Nationals on TBS at 8:00 PM ET, and you’ll be able to catch Wednesday night’s American League wild card game between the Rays and Athletics on ESPN at 8:00 PM ET.
As far as the rest of the postseason, both the NLDS and NLCS will be broadcasted exclusively on TBS, while both the ALDS and ALCS will be split among Fox, Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and MLB Network. The World Series will be carried on Fox only.
With all of that being said, let’s briefly go into the favorite teams partaking in the 2019 Major League Baseball Playoffs and their betting odds, and afterwards, I’ll be giving you my prediction (as well as a long shot pick) for who I have winning the Fall Classic.
The Houston Astros were the best team in Major League Baseball this season with a superior 107-55 (.660 winning percentage) season, and the biggest highlight of that record is how incredible they were at Minute Maid Park with a blazing tally of 60-21 — they weren’t too shabby on the road at 47-34 either. Not only were they dominant throughout the regular season either, they would also close out their season at 8-2 in their last 10 games, making them hot entering the playoffs. With hitting such as Jose Altuve, George Springer, Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa (health pending), likely Hall of Fame pitching such as Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke and being on the top of their game right now, there’s no reason why the Houston Astros can’t win their second championship in three years.
In recent history, we’ve gotten accustomed to the Los Angeles Dodgers becoming the premier power of the National League, and 2019 is no different, One of the four teams who have collected 100 wins, the Dodgers have pulled in a 106-56 (.654 winning percentage) record, and like the Astros, Los Angeles has put in major work at Dodger Stadium this season compiling a 59-22 home figure. On the road, they would be successful as well at 47-34. And here’s the best news of all, Dodgers fans: You’re coming into this year’s postseason hot, collecting an 8-2 record in your last 10 games. L.A. also enters the playoffs a bit different this year as well. They’re loaded with veterans, their pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu has the best ERA in MLB, Cody Bellinger has the potential to win the MVP now, they have all of the tools to finally win the Fall Classic. Keep an eye on the Los Angeles Dodgers, this team seems different that 2017 and ’18.
Here your third out of the four 100-win powers in the New York Yankees, placed at an elite 103-59 (.636 winning percentage) overall record for the season. And also like the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, they come in with a dominant record at home and a solid winning record on the road. At Yankee Stadium, they collected a 57-24 record, while they were a successful 46-35 away from the Bronx. Here’s the thing that concerns me with the Yankees coming in though: They’re a bit on the colder end with their latest form. In their last 10 games, they’re actually on the losing side with a 4-6 record. They certainly have the talent with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Cameron Maybin, and Gio Urshela, but can they get in the right form in time for a possible ALCS matchup between the Houston Astros? Only time will tell.
The Atlanta Braves are getting their respect with the oddsmakers for the most part, placed in fourth at +750 odds. I get the distance, so I say the Braves are getting their fair share of respect in Vegas. However, a lot of pundits in the media and others in the baseball community are still sleeping on Atlanta a little bit, and this is why you have to have them as an ultimate sleeper. This is one of the best Braves teams that I’ve ever seen play baseball at 97-65 (.599 winning percentage), and not just that, but they have the same formula as the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees: Elite at home, can win on the road. At SunTrust Park this season, Atlanta has collected at a 50-31 record, and would nearly accomplish that same feat having a 47-34 away record. With that being said though, they have the same problem as the Yankees, and that’s not coming into the playoffs in form only being 4-6 in their last 10 games, even getting swept by the New York Mets in the final series of the regular season. With this being vital in the MLB postseason, it’s important that Atlanta cleans this up, and quickly. They have the tools, however, in the form of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson and an incredible amount of swagger. Watch out for the Braves.
Even though they come in as a 100-win team, the Minnesota Twins fall in the fifth position in the odds at +1300, and I get it completely. Yeah, their overall record is a flashy 101-61 (.623 winning percentage) record, but they show some vulnerabilities at home if you believe it or not. At Target Field this season, the Twins have a winning record, but it doesn’t exactly look the most dominant at 46-35. They make up for it, however, steamrolling opposition on the road for a total record of 55-26 away from Minneapolis. Another thing that Minnesota has on their side to help counter their vulnerable home record is their form, they’ve been excellent in their last 10 games at 8-2. With hitting such as Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario, and pitching such as Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios, and the Yankees coming in with cold form, the Minnesota Twins have massive leverage here to pull off an upset in the ALDS.
No Bryce Harper, no problem. Despite Harper leaving back in the offseason, the Washington Nationals would pull together a successful 93-69 (.574 winning percentage) overall record and find themselves right back in the playoffs — only falling 4.0 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the NL East division championship. (Though most expected them to win the crown this season.) At Nationals Park, they were solid this year, putting up a record of 50-31, but they weren’t the best on the road this season with a tally of 43-38. With that being said, they do have some leverage coming into the playoffs being in near perfect form. In their last 10 games, they’ve placed themselves with a 9-1 record. If they can maintain themselves on the road, utilize Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer to the T and Anthony Rendon can put up some hefty production, the Washington Nationals could make some noise this October. I personally have no faith in them, but they have been playing some ball as of late.
It usually doesn’t matter how the St. Louis Cardinals do in the regular season. If they make the playoffs, they have the potential to pull off magic to make a deep run, so buckle up with this team and pop your popcorn. With this year in particular, they would collect a 91-71 (.562 winning percentage) overall record that would win them the NL Central division championship. At Busch Stadium this season, the Cardinals were great with a 50-31 record, but it was a bit of a fall off when they would go on the road — they would barely be above .500 with a 41-40 away record. They’ll have to make up for that somehow, but it won’t be in their form. It’s not bad, but it’s not the best either with them being 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Cards certainly have the talent with Paul Goldschmidt and Kolten Wong’s productivity in the lineup, and Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson do their thing in the rotation, but can we have complete faith in them? Well, if they take advantage of the Atlanta Braves’ recent form, we may have an upset on our hands.
If the Houston Astros weren’t such a powerhouse, the Oakland Athletics very well may have won the AL West division. The Athletics were phenomenal this season, nearly achieving a 100-win campaign at 97-65 (.599 winning percentage) regular season record, and would deliver this both at home and on the road. At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland would put in work, scoring a 52-29 record, and away from the Coliseum, they were quite successful at 45-36. As far as their form coming into the playoffs, it hasn’t been the best, but it’s still effective at a winning 6-4 record in their past 10 games. On the hitting side, the Athletics can get plenty of production from Matt Olson and Marcus Semien, but the pitching could be a bit better — though Mike Fiers, Chris Bassitt and Brett Anderson can do damage. I’m not really sure what to make of the Oakland Athletics, but what a Cinderella story it would be to win on their budget.
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