The regular season has all but come to an end, with the MLB Playoffs set to begin this Friday as the new Wild Card round makes its inaugural debut.
Four teams from each league will square off in the new round, where they will play a three-game series with the top seeds retaining home field advantage through the entirety of the series. The winners of each Wild Card series will advance to face the top two seeds from each league in the divisional round.
Assuming the Braves beat the Marlins in one of their final two games, or the Mets lose one of their final three, we already know which teams own the first round byes and which teams will be playing in the Wild Card round. All that is left to be decided is who will play who.
Until then, let’s take a look at the updated odds for each team left to make it to the World Series, as well as their odds to win it all.
American League Pennant Odds
- Houston Astros +160
- New York Yankees +210
- Toronto Blue Jays +600
- Seattle Mariners +1000
- Tampa Bay Rays +1100
- Cleveland Guardians +1100
The Houston Astros and New York Yankees represent the two favorites in the American League right now, which makes sense, considering the fact that they both have a bye and don’t have to play in the Wild Card round. This makes both of them the safest bets to win the AL pennant, as a three-game series is a crapshoot.
With that said, there are still a few teams who are playing in the Wild Card round who are interesting plays to win it all, or at least to advance to the World Series. The Blue Jays are a great team, with a deep lineup and a couple of great starters atop their rotation. Still, at +600, I don’t love those odds when they are two losses away from being eliminated from the playoffs altogether.
The Cleveland Guardians on the other hand could represent a fun play to put some money on, as they had a red-hot September to win the AL Central, winning 21 of their 29 games. With the longest odds to make out of this league, they could be worth throwing a flier on.
The best bet however could be the Seattle Mariners. If they end up going up against the Toronto Blue Jays that will be a tough draw for the Mariners, but they have the type of pitching with Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert to make a deep run in October.
National League Pennant Odds
- Los Angeles Dodgers +140
- Atlanta Braves +225
- New York Mets +400
- St. Louis Cardinals +900
- San Diego Padres +1200
- Philadelphia Phillies +1600
There are three favorites in the National League, but one has longer odds than the other two based on their likely place in the Wild Card round. The New York Mets will have a very tough road in October, as they will have to make it out of the Wild Card round, before likely having to face the Dodgers and the Braves in their path to the World Series.
By winning the division, which is all but a certainty at this stage, the Atlanta Braves have a much more fortuitous road, as they will likely play the Cardinals in the divisional round and can watch as the Mets and Dodgers go head-to-head before meeting the winner in the NLCS. This makes the Braves the best bet in the National League right now.
Then again, if you want to chase a narrative, there isn’t a better one than taking the Cardinals at +900 and riding the Albert Pujols/Yadier Molina/Adam Wainwright retirement tour to a potential World Series.
World Series Odds
- Los Angeles Dodgers +300
- Houston Astros +400
- Atlanta Braves +500
- New York Yankees +500
- New York Mets +700
- Toronto Blue Jays +1500
- St. Louis Cardinals +1800
- Seattle Mariners +2500
- San Diego Padres +2800
- Tampa Bay Rays +2800
- Cleveland Guardians +2800
- Philadelphia Phillies +3500
Five teams have odds less than +1000 to win the World Series right now, with clear favorites having been established as we enter the playoffs. The four teams who received byes are obvious bets to win the World Series, where you don’t have to worry about the Wild Card round, but the Mets now have attractive +700 odds.
Beyond those five teams, take your pick of any underdog story you would like to ride through October where a little bet could pay off big. The Phillies have the longest odds at +3500, but they are probably a better bet than a team like the Padres based on the way the seeding shakes out right now.
If the Padres hold onto the No. 5 seed, they will have to face the Mets, then if they win, they have to go up against the Dodgers. With all do respect to the Cardinals and the Braves, the Phillies have an easier road if they end up on that side of the bracket and their odds are more attractive as well.
Regardless, if your team has been eliminated from playoff contention, now is the time to place some bets and give yourself a rooting interest for the important games that are about to place throughout October.