While the 2013 MLB regular season has been unlike any other in recent memory, the chances to cash in on postseason wagering is as bountiful as ever has been.
Thanks to this in-depth postseason analysis on every team in both leagues, MLB baseball betting enthusiasts will have the expert information they need in order to make a series of potentially winning postseason wagers.
With that said – and the 2013 MLB postseason set to get underway in earnest on Thursday night, let’s get started with a look at the NL Pennant Odds before moving on to preview each series.
Odds to win 2013 NL Pennant
- Los Angeles Dodgers 11/10
- St Louis Cardinals 2/1
- Atlanta Braves 18/5
- Pittsburgh Pirates 9/1
National League Division Series
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals
If you’re old enough to remember the ‘We Are Family’ Pittsburgh Pirates of the late 1970s, then you’re probably pulling for the small market ballclub to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers and advance to the NL Championship Series at the very least.
That makes two of us!
The Pirates (94-68, +2342) got into the postseason by beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 in their one-game wild card playoff matchup on Tuesday and now will look to take down the favored Dodgers in their NL divisional showdown.
Pittsburgh has plenty of experience in dealing with recent pressure situations as they were one of three teams to participate in baseball’s first division with three 90-game winners since 2002.
The Pirates are making their first postseason appearance since 1992 and hit the playoff riding a nice, four-game winning streak that was part of the team winning seven of its L/10 games overall.
These two NL Central rivals have squared off a whopping 19 times this season.
"We ought to know each other by now," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters. "But we’re constantly looking for adjustments and seeing what guys are doing and trying to be prepared and have a game plan.
What the Pirates lack in postseason experience, they make up for in enthusiasm. Pittsburgh was mediocre offensively this season, ranking 20th in runs per game (3.91), 22nd in team batting average (.245) and 13th in home runs (161).
Where the team really excelled was on defense as they ranked third in team ERA ( 3.27), and in team strikeouts (1,261). Pittsburgh has one superstar in outfielder Andrew McCutchen and another star player in veteran Marlon Byrd, not to mention a huge, home run hitter in Pedro Alvarez (36).
St. Louis has been in the postseason in 12 of the last 13 seasons and look to be the slightly better ballclub all the way around. The seasoned Cardinals ranked third in runs per game (4,83) and fourth in team batting average (.269) while also finishing fifth in team ERA (3.43), 11th in strikeouts (1,254) and seventh in team errors with just 75.
St. Louis has four regulars batting at least .300 and that’s not even counting Carlos’ Beltran .296 batting average. Three starting pitchers won at least 15 games this season, led by staff ace Adam Wainwright’s 19 wins and solid 2.94 ERA.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves may have home field advantage in their NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but strangely enough, they’re not favored to advance – and that’s okay with them.
Atlanta won 96 games (four more than the Dodgers) and took home the NL East title by a whopping 10 games over Washington.
The Braves did it mostly with excellent pitching and defense this season as they ranked just 13th in runs per game (4.25) and 20th in team batting average (.249) but first in team ERA (3.18), second in WHIP (1.20) and second in Quality Starts with a whopping 102.
Atlanta had just two regulars bat over .300 but they do have three starting pitchers that all won at least 13 games this season.
While the Dodgers finished the regular season ranked a uninspiring 17th in runs per game (4.01), they did somehow manage to rank sixth in team batting average and have their own spectacular pitching staff.
L.A. ranked in the top 10 in every major pitching category including, second in team ERA (3.25), sixth in WHIP (1.23), eighth in team strikeouts and seventh in (Quality Starts 93).
More importantly, the Dodgers have arguably the best pitcher in baseball today in left-hander Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) and another fine hurler in veteran Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA).
Oh, did I forget t mention the names of elite hitters, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, and Yasiel Puig?
This NLDS opens on Thursday night at 8:30 PM ET on TBS.
Odds to win 2013 AL Pennant
- Boston Red Sox 27/20
- Detroit Tigers 2/1
- Oakland Athletics 16/5
- Tampa Bay Rays 25/2
American League Divisional Series
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
The Tampa Bay Rays remind me of the ‘Energizer Bunny,’ they just keep going and going. Now, baseball bettors across the globe are about to find out if the Boston Red Sox can bring a halt to Tampa Bay’s
Tampa Bay beat Cleveland, 4-0, in Wednesday night’s AL Wild Card Game to reach this series, but they’ll find themselves in the fight of their lives in order to beat the BoSox. The Rays have won three straight and a blistering nine of their L/10 games overall to hit the postseason on a red-hot roll and they’re a very well-rounded team, no doubt.
Tampa Bay ranked an identical 12th in both, runs per game (4.29) and team batting average (.257) while also finishing the regular season ranked 12th (again) in tem ERA (3.73) and fourth in both, WHIP (1.22) and Quality starts (79).
"Well, I’ve been talking a lot recently about it’s our best infield defense we’ve ever had here, and you’d have to make a strong argument to tell me there was a better one that I saw this year in the American League," manager Joe Maddon said.
Unfortunately, the Rays didn’t have a single regular bat .300 during the season, although Evan Longoria (32 homers) is still almost as dangerous a hitter is there is in the game today. Tampa Bay also has two fine young pitchers in AL Cy Young winner David Price and Jeremy Hellickson.
Still the Rays will be hard-pressed to beat a Red Sox team that has gone from worst to first after finishing in fifth place in the AL East in 2012. Boston tied St. Louis for the most wins in the majors this year with 97 and they appear to be as hungry as ever right now.
The BoSox have the best offense in all of baseball, ranking first in runs per game (5.27), second in team batting average (.277), first in OPS, sixth in home runs (178) and fourth in stolen bases.
Boston had five everyday players bat at least .294 this season and eight players reach double digits in home runs.
The team was just mediocre in most pitching stats, ranking 14th in team ERA (3.79) and 15th in WHIP (1.30), though they did have four starters reach the double-digit win mark.
This series gets started on Friday, Oct. 4 at 3:00 PM ET.
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A’s
The Detroit Tigers will hit the postseason looking to finish off what they couldn’t a year ago – winning the World Series.
Winners of 93 games this season, Detroit has one goal and one goal in mind, bringing home the bacon. Detroit has an excellent chance to do just that too after lighting it up again in the regular season.
Reigning AL MVP, Miguel Cabrera showed once again why he is the best hitter in all of baseball while making a case for consecutive MVP awards by batting .344 with 44 home runs and 137 RBIs.
The Tigers as a team, ranked second in runs per game (4.91), first in team batting average (.283) and seventh in home runs (176). However, if you think this team is all about hitting…think again.
Detroit finished the regular season ranked ninth in team ERA (3.61) and WHIP (1.25) while also finishing first in strikeouts and Quality starts (108). The Tigers have three absolute monster starters in Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer (21-3) and Justin Verlander.
The Oakland A’s have overachieved (again) to reach the postseason and actually won three more games than the Tigers this season. However, that can be taken with a grain of salt, seeing as how they beat up on the lowly Astros, Mariners and perplexing Angles all season.
This rematch of last year’s ALDS could very well go the limit, just like last season’s playoff pairing.
"I feel like we’re a better team right now than we were last year," manager Bob Melvin said after the A’s clinched the AL West.
Oakland excelled on offense and defense this season, ranking fourth in runs per game (4.73), third in home runs (186), seventh in team ERA (3.56) and eighth in Quality Starts (92).
How the A’s accomplished all of this with just one .300 hitter is beyond me, but they’re going to have their work cut out against the Tigers. The good news is that veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon has gotten back to being the pitcher he was years ago and he is complimented by two other fine starters in A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker.
This series begins on Friday, Oct.4 at 9:30 PM ET.