At least if you look at the records of the four teams left standing in the MLB playoffs, what’s left isn’t exactly the four best teams in the league.
That said, few could argue that the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians aren’t amongst the four best teams in the game in spite of their records, and that should make for one heck of a week of postseason baseball. Check out the latest MLB lines for the 2016 World Series.
MLB Postseason Odds
Chicago Cubs (+130)
The Cubs were probably pushed a lot harder than they should have been by the Giants in the opening round of the playoffs, but when San Fran made its surge and looked set to force a Game 5 after falling down 2-0 at Wrigley, the North Siders responded with a massive ninth inning with four runs in Game 4 to wrap that series up in a nice and tidy box.
This is still the best team in baseball and still at the top of the World Series picks, but we definitely learned that the Cubs are beatable, and they’re going to really have to be at their best against the Dodgers to move on to the World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays (+210)
The Jays didn’t have home field advantage against the Rangers, nor are they going to against the Indians, but that isn’t stopping the oddsmakers for installing them as the favorites to win a series for the second straight round. Toronto has won all four of its playoff games this year, and it’s done so with tremendous power.
Amazingly, this team has 10 home runs over the course of just four games, led by Edwin Encarnacion and is three dingers and 1.412 OPS. This bullpen was also virtually flawless.
Joe Biagini, Brett Cecil, Jason Grilli, Roberto Osuna and Ryan Tepera combined to toss 11.1 scoreless innings in the first four games of the postseason, and only long man, Francisco Liriano gave up a couple runs in his two frames.
Cleveland Indians (+350)
The Indians haven’t done anything particularly sexy here in the postseason, but it’s like the Red Sox never had a chance against them. The key is getting the ball into the eighth inning where Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are waiting in the wings.
These two combined to throw seven shutout innings against Boston, and they allowed just a total of 10 base runners in those frames. Corey Kluber is a legit ace and is pitching some of the best ball in his life at the moment, but aside from that, these starters are suspect.
That’s why Toronto with its powerful lineup is the MLB betting favorite by a relatively comfortable margin in this series.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+525)
The Dodgers are still playing, but it’s hard to say they’re any better for the wear. They had to use Rich Hill twice and Clayton Kershaw three times over the course of five games, and Kenley Jansen threw more pitches in Game 5 over 2.1 innings than he ever had in his career, and it wasn’t even close.
As a result, Kershaw almost certainly won’t be available to pitch until Game 3 of the NLCS, and that means there’s a really good chance he only pitches once in this series. Game 1 will almost certainly be Kenta Maeda’s chance to get back on the bump after his horrid start against the Nats, while Game 2 is the biggest mystery of the bunch before getting back to Kershaw and Hill.
And will Jansen even be available to close in Game 1? That’s a lot of question marks to have heading into a series against the best team in baseball, and that’s why the Dodgers are definitely facing an uphill battle. At least though, they’re still playing ball into the middle of October.
Odds courtesy of Bookmaker.eu as of October 14, 2016.
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