Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section.
Tuesday marks the start of an unprecedented MLB postseason. The 16-team playoff begins with eight best-of-three series, with the small sample size possibly opening the door to plenty of volatility.
That's par for the course in 2020, of course. Here's how the World Series oddsboard looks ahead of the postseason:
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+300|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+600|
|New York Yankees||+700|
|San Diego Padres||+900|
|Chicago White Sox||+1000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2800|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+3000|
Always a popular team to back in October, bettors need to steer clear of the Yankees this postseason at such a short price. The Yanks have an incredibly tough road just to make it to the ALCS. A date with the Indians and their league-best pitching staff awaits in the first round, and if New York manages to win that, the Rays will likely be waiting on the other side. The Yankees were just 2-8 against Tampa this season.
Even more concerning is the fact that 23 of the Yankees' 33 wins this season came against non-playoff teams. New York went just 10-17 against postseason clubs, with six of those wins coming against the eighth-seeded Jays. The pitching staff leaves a lot to be desired after Gerrit Cole, and while the lineup is potent, New York batted just .220 with 27 home runs away from Yankees Stadium this season.
If you're a firm believer that pitching wins championships - look no further than the Nationals last season - then the Indians are the team to invest in. Cleveland's pitching staff led MLB in WAR (11.4) and FIP (3.55) and had four starters (minimum 50 innings pitched) place in the top 40 in WAR, with MVP candidate and Cy Young front-runner Shane Bieber leading the league in that regard.
Although the Indians' hitting is a question mark, their lineup comes into the playoffs hot after struggling for large stretches of the season. Cleveland scored 4.5 runs per game during the last 11 contests of the season, winning nine of them. The Indians also registered three walk-off wins during that stretch, including two in a four-game sweep of the White Sox. Cleveland - anchored by the likely AL MVP Jose Ramirez - has all the tools to make a legitimate run at its first World Series title since 1948.
No team is coming into the postseason hotter than the Reds. They closed out the season winning 11 of their final 14 contests, averaging five runs per game over that span. Cincinnati hasn't lost a series since Sept. 8-10, winning four against playoff clubs since then.
The Reds will hitch their wagon to a stellar rotation that includes Trevor Bauer (1.73 ERA, 2.88 FIP), Luis Castillo (3.21 ERA, 2.65 FIP), and Sonny Gray (3.70 ERA, 3.05 FIP). These guys will make Cincinnati an incredibly tough out in any series. The Reds' pitching staff is fourth in MLB in WAR - second in the NL behind the Brewers - creating a mouth-watering first-round series against a Braves offense that leads the MLB in OPS and ranks a close second in runs per game.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.