Yanks, Nats and Reds Lead MLB Postseason Odds

 

The postseason is finally here and after much tinkering in the light of Wednesday’s epic final day of the season, bookmakers have released their League pennant and World Series odds.

Surprising to some, less so to other, New York, Cincinnati and Washington lead the pack, with a three-way tie in World Series odds. Of course, all of this will change quickly after tonight’s Wild Card games.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the 10 postseason teams looking to lift the Commissioner’s Trophy before the month is out.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL East champs New York are favorites to win the pennant and joint favorites (with Cincinnati and Washington) to win the World Series.

New York Yankees

Record: 95-67 (51-30 home, 44-37 away)

The Yankees can make good use of the best home record in baseball as they have homefield advantage through the ALCS. The National League’s All-Star Game victory means the Yanks will play the road schedule should they make the World Series. New York has a winning record this season against all postseason teams, excluding Cincinnati (1-2) but hasn’t played San Francisco and St. Louis. The Yankees are favorites to take the American League pennant and joint favorite (with Cincinnati and Washington) to win it all.

AL Pennant: 9/4

World Series: 5/1

 

Detroit Tigers

Record: 88-74 (50-31 home, 38-43 away)

The Tigers practically snuck in the back door to get to the postseason but as they say, it doesn’t matter how you got there. The Tigers have shot up oddsmakers polls thanks in part to Miggy Cabrera’s historic Triple Crown achievement. Detroit is well set to start off Saturday’s ALDS with Oakland, with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer ready to go in the home leg of the series.

AL Pennant: 11/4

World Series: 6/1

 

Texas Rangers

Record: 93-69 (50-31 home, 43-38 away)

A 4-9 record over the last two weeks of the season damaged Texas in the eyes of the oddsmakers as well as hurling the Rangers into a one-game Wild Card playoff with Baltimore. The team that led the American League for so much of the season faltered at the wrong time. A win over the Orioles on Friday will put everything back on track, sort of. The Yankees await and Texas didn’t exactly make a good showing off themselves in last month’s four-game set between the two.

AL Pennant: 13/4

World Series: 7/1

 

Oakland Athletics

Record: 94-68 (50-31 home, 44-37 away)

It seems that oddsmakers are yet to believe the magic that’s transformed Oakland from a bottom of the table team to AL West champs. A young pitching staff and a roster of no-name vets and youngsters may not look appealing on paper, but the A’s have played the best baseball in the league since July. Betting against that ending now could be a mistake.

AL Pennant: 7/2

World Series: 15/2

 

Baltimore Orioles

Record: 93-69 (47-34 home, 46-35 away)

Despite an astounding season that has seen the Orioles make the postseason for the first time since 1997, oddsmakers don’t like Baltimore’s chances, either in this Friday’s Wild Card game or going forward. Up against Yu Darvish, who has played his best ball over the past month or so, the Orioles are underdogs in Texas and from here on out.

AL Pennant: 7/1

World Series: 15/1

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

The Cincinnati Reds are marginal favorites to win the National League pennant ahead of Washington and San Francisco.

Cincinnati Reds

Record: 97-65 (50-31 home, 47-34 away)

Despite the Nationals finishing with a better record, and one that included a 5-2 edge in the head-to-head, oddsmakers like Cincinnati’s chances of taking the NL pennant more than Washington. Perhaps it’s the Stephen Strasburg effect. Perhaps it’s the solid pitching of Jose Cuerto. Perhaps it’s that San Francisco may be considered an easier series than Atlanta (if they may it out of the Wild Card). Whatever it is, separating the Reds and Nats has been a difficult task all season and isn’t about to get any easier now.

NL Pennant: 2/1

World Series: 5/1

 

Washington Nationals

Record: 98-64 (50-31 home, 48-33 away)

With both the best record and road record in baseball, you’d expect Washington to be favorites heading into the postseason, but it hasn’t been straightforward for the Nationals this season, despite such an impressive record. Atlanta has loomed all season, and holds a 7-8 win in the head-to-head stakes, whilst both the Yankees and Orioles have bettered the Nats outright this season. If hanging in there has been the theme of the year, expect more of the same this October.

NL Pennant: 9/4

World Series: 5/1

 

San Francisco Giants

Record: 94-68 (48-33 home, 46-35 away)

Somewhat forgotten in the drama of the last few days of the season, San Francisco enters the postseason quietly but with more than a few aces up its sleeve. After Melky Cabrera’s high-profile suspension, the team pulled together and ousted the Dodgers on the way to an impressive NL West win. But the Giants face a tricky path. They’ve lost head-to-heads against both Washington and Cincinnati this season whilst tying with St. Louis and beating Atlanta by just one game. If they make it out of the NLDS, whoever they face will be a tough outing. Still, how many people are rooting for the first Bay Area World Series since 1989? Without the earthquake of course.

NL Pennant: 3/1

World Series: 15/2

 

Atlanta Braves

Record: 94-68 (48-33 home, 46-35 away)

Sometimes teams find themselves in the wrong division. Atlanta played well enough this season to win a division, but Washington’s surprise season put a stop to that. The Chipper Jones farewell tour now takes in a Wild Card game with St. Louis before potentially making its way back to Washington. Despite playing tough, Atlanta doesn’t have a good record against teams in the postseason, except St. Louis (5-1) and Washington (8-7). That’s handy then. The Braves certainly have the experience to go far, and if they make it out of the Wild Card round you can expect those odds to be slashed.

NL Pennant: 13/2

World Series: 12/1

 

St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 88-74 (50-31 home, 38-43 away)

Underdogs last year, underdogs again this year. St. Louis played well enough to make the postseason, they just had to wait for the trailing pack to, well, trail off. Up against Kris Medlen and the Braves in the Wild Card game on Friday, things don’t look good for the Cards, but this is a team used to upset wins. The Birds have played Cincinnati, Washington and San Francisco tight this year, so if they do manage to upset Atlanta, there may be no limit to what is achievable this year, just like last year.

NL Pennant: 7/1

World Series: 15/1

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