- Bet Online has updated its 2019 World Series odds after a wild MLB divisional round
- The Astros (+140) are slight title favorites over their ALCS opponents in New York (+250)
- The Nationals (+400) and Cardinals (+500) clash in the NLCS after pulling off upset victories
Since Major League Baseball introduced the Wild Card in 1995, eight teams finished the regular season with 104 wins or more. Only one of them has not survived the division series: this year’s Dodgers.
Coming off two consecutive World Series defeats, Los Angeles was upset in five games by the Nationals, a club I recommended a month ago at +1600 to win baseball’s biggest prize.
Washington will now face St. Louis in a surprising NLCS showdown while the Yankees head to Houston for the heavyweight ALCS tilt that everyone expected.
With October not even half over, let’s review the odds at BetOnline and place our bets on who will survive the next round.
2019 WORLD SERIES ODDS
|New York Yankees||+250|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+500|
ALCS: YANKEES VS ASTROS
Thanks to Gerrit Cole, Houston was able to avoid the same fate as the Dodgers. The 6-foot-4 righty set a new divisional-series record by striking out 25 Rays (46.3 percent of batters faced) in his two starts.
The Astros advance to face a Yankees team that might be peaking at the right time after outscoring the Twins 23-7 in an easy three-game sweep. With a new manager in Aaron Boone, New York aims to avenge the 2017 ALCS loss where they dropped all four games in the Lone Star State.
Gerrit Cole and the Astros are on an epic collision course with the Yankees
This is the series baseball needs, says Tom Verducci https://t.co/fzj0eZEh9F
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 11, 2019
Winning in Houston won’t be easy though. In setting a new franchise record with 107 Ws, A.J. Hinch’s club became the first team to win 60 home games since the 1998 Yankees.
Led by Astros MVP candidate Alex Bregman, the Astros have the second-best batting lineup in major-league history and a distinct starting pitching advantage with Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.
Both Cole and Greinke weren’t on the 2017 World Series championship club that defeated the Yankees, but New York also has a few new faces in Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres, who was the breakout star of the ALDS.
Aaron Judge hands the Yankees championship belt over to the star of the night, Gleyber Torres:
” Up and down, what a series, what a game” ??? pic.twitter.com/DHrMbZgkxo
— SNY (@SNYtv) October 8, 2019
Call it a hunch, but I think the Bronx Bombers’ power bats and hard-throwing bullpen will be enough to outlast the Astros.
PICK: YANKEES IN 7
NLCS: NATIONALS VS CARDINALS
What’s more important in October: superb starting pitching or a lockdown bullpen? The answer will likely determine the winner of the NLCS.
The Nationals’ triumvirate of Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin have thrown 37 of Washington’s 54 innings this postseason, accounting for 69 percent of the outs, but you have to wonder if manager Davey Martinez’s strategy is sustainable over a seven-game series.
Anibal Sanchez, who restored career after leaving Tigers, will start Game 1 of NLCS https://t.co/OCpwlcQXTK
— detroit_tigers (@TigersMLive) October 11, 2019
With those guys running on fumes, the Game 1 start will go to Anibal Sanchez. The 35-year-old has a 2.98 ERA in nine career postseason appearances and struck out nine Dodgers in his only NLCS start, so he should be up for the task.
He’ll be up against Miles Mikolas who, much like Tom Selleck in the movie Mr. Baseball, is making a successful MLB comeback after spending several years in Japan.
St. Louis also has Adam Wainwright and Jack Flaherty lined up for Games 2 and 3, but the real strength of their club is their defense and bullpen. They ranked third in the NL in bullpen ERA and second in Defensive Efficiency Rating.
Verducci’s Notebook: The Fear of Juan Soto, the Postseason of Spin and More – Sports Illustrated https://t.co/2m10uIdUQq
— Nationals show (@Nationalsshow) October 11, 2019
The Cards will be looking to advance to their third Fall Classic this decade, but Washington’s four-deep starting rotation should be enough to shut them down.
PICK: NATIONALS IN 6