Major League Baseball has proven to be unpredictable this postseason. For those betting on baseball playoff games, the sure thing was far from sure. For fans the initial five-game Wild Card series was filled with a lot of thrills and surprises. As the best of seven League Championship Series start here’s a consideration of the four teams that remain and how they survived the Division Championship Series.
Yankees and Tigers
The New York Yankees were favored by almost everyone. But the problem many people overlooked was the depth of the Tigers rotation and their amazing bullpen. Plus, once again the man who is considered to be one of the best player in baseball, Alex Rodriguez, did not come through in the pinch. In the fifth and final game, he proved to be ineffective, striking out with bases loaded and also on the final pitch of the game.
Rays and Rangers
The Rays were the Cinderella team in the American League. They outplayed the Yankees to sweep them the last few days of the season as the Red Sox self-destructed against the Baltimore Orioles. The Texas Rangers came into the playoffs with some of the best hitters in the league on their roster and an improved pitching staff. They took care of the Rays in four games.
Cards and Phils
The Phillies looked like sure bets as they were up against the Cardinals who got into the playoffs by getting hot in the end as Atlanta went cold. But you can never under estimate manager Tony La Russa. The guy is a mastermind at baseball and he simply knows how to get the most out of his club. The Cards took the Phils to five games and won the series. Now they have to face the Brewers. If anyone can beat Milwaukee, these guys can.
Brewers and Diamondbacks
This was an interesting contest that saw a lot of homers flying out of the park. Milwaukee almost gave the series to Arizona, but they managed a fifth game 3-2 win to take the series. The two prior games they had been blown out both times by Arizona. When the Milwaukee bats are working and going into high gear, they will win.
It is Texas and Detroit. This could certainly be a seven game series that turns on small things. Although we may want to focus on the top starters, it’s really those guys who pitch the second and third games who are so important. Detroit has an edge and they have a nice edge when it comes to the bullpen. The bats favor the Rangers.
This is Milwaukee’s series to lose. If their hitters step up, they will go to the World Series. If they don’t and they let the Cardinals in the door, then St. Louis will take advantage of them. This one could be over in five with the Brewers winning or in seven with the Cardinals taking it.
The next stop for two of these four teams is the World Series. That will be going on in about a week. There are very few MLB games left to bet but plenty of other sports betting opportunities for those in the U.S. This time of year is especially active for sports bettors.