Playing the MLB Odds

The hunt for the playoffs in Major League Baseball is heating up. With less than a week of games left, the wild cards are the only spot left in contention.

Now is the time to start considering the MLB odds in the postseason. The Red Sox would appear to be the favorites coming out of the American League. They have the highest run differential in either league and to date are the only team to score more than 800 runs. The Tigers aren’t far behind the Red Sox and may have the slightly better pitching, although some of that may be attributed to the cavernous Comerica Park.

Both teams have been at the top of the league offensively. If I were guessing MLB odds right now, I’d think the battle of the playoffs will come down to pitching once again.

The National League paints a different story. The Cardinals are once again top dog in the NL Central, sporting the best run differential in the league despite the worst ERA of all the National League Division winners. Looking at the Cardinals expected wins based on differential show they are five wins below what would be expected. The Atlanta Braves took advantage of a typically weak National League East to run away with their division while underplaying their expected win as well.

The Dodgers meanwhile outperformed their expected wins by five games. Chalk it up to good managing by the sophomore Don Mattingly or luck in extra inning and one run games where the Dodgers sported a 35-23 record. Either way, the Dodgers turned around what looked like a lost season into a division win.

So where will the MLB odds fall for this postseason? Who will win the World Series? It looks like the field is wide open. It’s anyone’s guess.


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