Major League Baseball’s extended playoff format doesn’t seem to create too much drama in the final week of the MLB regular season, which ends Oct. 5. But there’s at least one contest worth pursuing, and Aaron Judge is waiting. Fun stuff too.
Let’s take a look at the MLB betting market at Caesars Sportsbook.
All eyes to the east
Barring a major collapse somewhere (always possible!), pennant race drama will come to the National League East division, as the New York Mets take a one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves into Tuesday night’s action.
Both teams have already clinched playoff chances, but the odds of winning the division are huge: the first-place team gets a first-round playoff bye, a best-of-three crapshot and away from the powerhouse. Los Angeles Dodgers at least until the National League Championship Series. The second-ranked team? They should go into that best-of-three gauntlet, possibly against the loaded San Diego Padres, and the winner of that series will go to LA.
The Mets and Braves will play three more head-to-head games this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The good news for the Braves is that they are all in Atlanta. The good news for the Mets is that if they can win just one of them, they own the season series against the Braves and will clinch the division.
Accordingly, the Mets are -380 favorites to take the East at Caesars Sportsbook, while the Braves can be bought at +290.
What else is left to play?
So, about that chance of failure. It seems more likely in the NL, where two wild card spots are open to three teams. The aforementioned Padres have a 1½-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies, who in turn have a 1½-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The race is still very tight to flip in the final week, but the Padres and Phillies both have a chance to tie against the Brewers, so the race isn’t as close as it seems. Caesars doesn’t even list playoff odds for any of the teams.
In the American League, the potential for drama is even lower. The Toronto Blue Jays have moved into the top wild card spot, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners have a firm grip on the other two. The only team with a chance to catch one is the Baltimore Orioles, who trail the Mariners by 3½ games and the Rays by 4, losing both points. Again, Caesar doesn’t stand a chance here.
Aaron Judge Hour
Of course, the baseball world focused on two home run chases in September more than anything else. One of them is over: Albert Pujols hit two home runs in Los Angeles on Friday night, giving him 700 for his career.
But the other is still too much. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Tuesday, going a week without a hitter — which qualifies as a drought for him.
Judge has a chance to win the league’s second triple crown in the last 55 years if he can lead the league in homers, RBIs and batting average. It is the batting competition that is in doubt; As of Tuesday, Judge is just one point ahead of the Minnesota Twins’ Luis Arez and the Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts.
Judge’s next long ball would tie the Yankees and American League record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961. What follows will be a record breaker.
Here are the odds for when Caesar Judge will hit that 62nd home run:
At Blue Jays (Tuesday or Wednesday, two games): +350
Orioles (Friday, Saturday or Sunday, three games): +150
at Rangers (October 3-5, four games: +300
62 homers not reached: +400
What about the World Series?
With all the regular season business done, the MLB playoffs offer a little respite. After an off day on Thursday, Oct. 6, the best-of-three wild card series will take place the weekend of Oct. 7-9, followed by the division series from Oct. 11-17 and the league championship series in Oct. 18-26.
World Series Starts October 28th. The odds of which teams can reach it and win it haven’t changed significantly since mid-summer.
The Dodgers are still +300 favorites, and only +140 to win the National League pennant.
In the American League, the favorite is the Houston Astros at +150, and they’re up to +380 to win the World Series, a price that’s been dropping long into the summer. That was in part to prevent Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale’s multi-million dollar bets on the Astros from promoting furniture that ran through stores.
New York teams, the Yankees and Mets are both +500 to win the World Series, followed by the Braves at +800. After that there are significant drops in the Blue Jays at +1600 and the St. Louis Cardinals at +2000.
Here are the complete World Series odds at Caesars Sportsbook through Tuesday morning:
Los Angeles Dodgers +300
Houston Astros +380
New York Yankees +500
New York Mets +500
Atlanta Braves +800
Toronto Blue Jays +1600
St. Louis Cardinals +2000
San Diego Padres +2500
Seattle Mariners +2500
Tampa Bay Rays +3000
Cleveland Guardians +3500
Philadelphia Phillies +5000
Milwaukee Brewers +10000
Baltimore Orioles +75000
Chicago White Sox +250000
San Francisco is huge +500000
Minnesota Twins + 500000
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