After an eventful 2021 Major League Baseball season, the MLB playoff energy gets into full gear starting Thursday, with betting odds available for each series.
The American League and National League Division Series will get underway in the days to come, returning baseball to the postseason form we have grown accustomed to for the first time in two years.
With matchups set, here’s a deep dive into the matchups and who oddsmakers like to contend for the World Series.
Dodgers zoom to favorite status after Wild Card walk-off
With the two Wild Card games now in the books, the field of eight teams is set for the remainder of the playoffs.
The Boston Red Sox picked up a 6-2 win over the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday night.
Late Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers walked off with a thrilling 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game.
Following Wednesday night’s win, the Dodgers have seen their odds improve greatly. BetMGM Sportsbook had the Dodgers as a +400 favorite Wednesday afternoon. However, that’s now jumped up to +240 now that L.A. is in the NLDS. That’s also knowing that Clayton Kershaw won’t be available in the postseason.
The Houston Astros have the next shortest odds to win the World Series at +475.
The Dodgers also have the highest ticket% (12.6) and handle% (18.5) in the World Series market, according to BetMGM.
The biggest remaining liabilities are with the San Francisco Giants, who sat at +700 on Thursday morning.
Astros seek continued success against White Sox
The divisional MLB playoff round gets started when the odds favorite Astros (95-67) host the Chicago White Sox (93-69) at 4:07 p.m. ET Thursday.
Houston is the No. 2 seed in the AL, while Chicago is the No. 3 seed. The Astros are among the bigger surprises of the season, as they opened the year at +2200 to win the World Series. Chicago finds itself currently listed at +700 to win it all.
In this best-of-five series, FanDuel Sportsbook has the Astros as a -130 favorite, while the White Sox are listed at +112 to win.
Houston, the AL West champs, had great success with the White Sox, this year’s winner of the AL Central. The Astros won five of the seven meetings during the season, including all four at home.
If Houston as a favorite to win the series isn’t enticing, DraftKings Sportsbook lists Houston at +500 for a sweep, +450 for a 3-1 win and +300 for a 3-2 victory.
AL East rivals Red Sox, Rays meet in ALDS
Coming off a win over their primary rival, the Yankees, Boston (92-70) turns its attention to another division foe in the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays (100-62).
The two begin their best-of-five series at 8:07 p.m. Thursday.
Bookmakers are listing Tampa with favorite odds in this MLB playoff series. FanDuel puts the Rays at -168, while the Red Sox come in at +144.
Boston has seen the biggest jump in odds from the start of the season. The Red Sox opened the year at +5000 and now sit at +800. Tampa is listed at +600 to win the championship right now.
The regular-season series between these two was competitive. The Rays came away the winner with an 11-8 advantage over 19 games. Their most recent meetings were Sept. 6-8 in Boston, with the Rays winning two of three.
With the familiarity between the two, perhaps betting on total games is the option for you. DraftKings has the over/under of 3.5 games in the series at -330 for the over and +275 for the under. An over/under of 4.5 games as the over at +145, with the under at -170.
Brewers, Braves to break season tie in NLDS
The first NLDS matchup to be set was the Milwaukee Brewers (95-67) as 2 seed taking on No. 3 Atlanta Braves (88-73). The series begins at 4:37 p.m. Friday.
Milwaukee was the winner of the NL Central and listed at +800 to win the World Series by BetMGM. Atlanta won the NL East and is a +1200 longshot for the title.
Oddsmakers at FanDuel are listing the Brewers at -142 to win this series, while Atlanta is listed at +120 to prevail.
These two teams had just six meetings during the season. The six were split right down the middle with each team winning three times. The road team actually won two of three in each case.
DraftKings has series spread odds you can consider as well. Atlanta at +1.5 games is the smallest favorite at -210. The biggest longshot is Milwaukee +2.5, which sits at +1200. A reasonable line of +175 is attached to the Brewers -1.5 games.
Giants a top-seeded underdog vs. Dodgers
The San Francisco Giants (107-55) edged the Dodgers (106-56) for the top record in baseball, but that doesn’t earn San Francisco any respect in the NLDS.
The two rivals will get their best-of-five series underway starting at 9:37 p.m. ET Friday.
Oddsmakers are listing the Dodgers as the favorite in the series at -146. The Giants are listed at +124 to win the series.
The season series couldn’t have been much closer between the two. San Francisco won 10 of the 19 meetings. The Giants rallied to win six of the last eight in this series.
With this series expected to be close, nailing the actual series margin will be tough. DraftKings has the options for all six possible outcomes. They range from +275 for a 3-1 Dodgers win, to +950 for a Giants sweep.