AL Wild Card Update

The Wildcard round is over and the Division Round is underway. Let’s take a look at who might move on and the current odds for the final eight teams in the MLB Playoffs.

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AL Wildcard Round

#5 Rangers 2-0 over the #4 Rays

#3 Twins 2-0 over the #6 Blue Jays

AL Divisional Round

Texas leads Baltimore 2-0 in the best-of-five series.

The Rangers have now won four straight games in the playoffs after staggering into the postseason following a tough final series in Seattle. The Rangers’ lineup picked a great time to bounce back and the team’s bullpen has held up. Don’t count the Orioles out just yet, however. Baltimore was tied with Atlanta for the best road record in baseball at 52-29. It will be all hands on deck for the Orioles’ pitching staff in game three.

Prediction: Rangers 3-1 over the Orioles; Rangers (+120/+340)

Houston and Minnesota tied 1-1 in the best-of-five series.

The Astros looked like they were cruising through game one with a 5-0 lead late before the Twins rallied to cut the lead to 5-4. Despite losing 6-4, the Twins proved their toughness. In game two, behind a dominant start from Pablo Lopez, the Twins rolled to a 6-2 win. After splitting the first two games against the Astros' top-two starters and playoff veterans in Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, I like the Twins to keep this series from going back to Houston.

Prediction: Minnesota 3-1 over the Astros; Twins (+330/+850)

NL Wildcard Round

#4 Phillies 2-0 over #5 Marlins

#6 Diamondbacks 2-0 over #3 Brewers

NL Divisional Round

Philadelphia leads Atlanta 1-0 in the best-of-five series.

For the second consecutive season, the Phillies stole home-field advantage in the divisional round with a win in Atlanta. The Phillies have to feel confident after stealing the opener while utilizing six pitchers in a 3-0 win over the Braves. Phillies’ manager Thompson was able to do that with a day off between games one and two. Now the Phillies turn to one of their co-aces Zack Wheeler against Braves’ lefty Max Fried. Fried comes into this game with confirmed blister issues. This game is as close to do-or-die as it gets on Monday night for the Braves. A loss will make it very unlikely for the Braves to win this series. Philadelphia is 9-1 at home over the last two seasons.

Prediction: Braves 3-2 over the Phillies; Braves (+240/+450)

Arizona leads the Dodgers 1-0

The Diamondbacks have already been one of the surprise teams in baseball throughout the season. They led the NL West Division at the All-Star Break, fell behind the Dodgers and appeared to be falling out of the race, and rallied back to take the final wildcard spot on the last weekend of the season. The Diamondbacks then upset NL Central Division winner Milwaukee in two-straight games on the road before pounding the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw 11-2 in game one in Los Angeles. The Diamondbacks now send their ace, Zac Gallen, to the hill in game two with a chance to take an insurmountable lead in the series. For the second straight season, the Dodgers look heavy on hitting and light on starting pitching in the divisional round. With Julio Urias’ off-the-field issues leaving him unavailable, the Dodgers are relying on inexperienced starting pitching to advance in the postseason.

Prediction: Diamondbacks 3-1 over the Dodgers; Diamondbacks (+350/+900)

*All odds courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

Author Profile
Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.