Fans can’t wait for the Major League Baseball playoffs to arrive and luckily, the wait is now over. The Wild Card is kicking off this weekend and there’s going to be a lot of great play for folks to enjoy both in the American League and the National League. Trips to the Divisional Round on both sides are on the line here. In this article, we have our MLB AL Wild Card picks for the 2022 season, with two series on the way.
Cleveland is favored to take down Tampa Bay
To start things off, Cleveland is favored to take down Tampa Bay. What you need to remember before making your bets for the Wild Card is that all of the games will be played at the higher seed. There won’t be any travel, which means that home-field advantage will definitely come into play. This is going to be the case when the Guardians and Rays meet, as all the contests will be played in Cleveland.
With the Guardians, the AL Central side is going to use this to its advantage, as the best-of-three series will be recorded at Progressive Field. The fans are going to do everything they can to try and raddle the Rays. They’re also going to lose their minds when guys like Jose Ramirez step up to the dish and record a big hit. Ramirez is a true slugger and he’ll be looked at to step up his game.
|AL Wild Card|
|Guardians to win||-120||-120||-120||-120|
|Rays to win||+102||+102||+102||+102|
|Blue Jays to win||-174||-174||-174||-174|
|Mariners to win||+148||+148||+148||+148|
With the Rays, they’re best known for their strong pitching. They’re going to be tested early and often in this series, and they’ll surely need to go above and beyond to try and keep the Cleveland hitters in check. This surely won’t be an easy task to complete, as the Indians are known for their strong bats. The question for Tampa Bay is will the Rays’ pitching staff be ready to answer the call.
According to the best-rated MLB sportsbooks, the Guardians hold the best MLB playoffs betting odds for the Wild Card Series, as they’ve been set at -120. Meanwhile for the Jays, they’ve been set at +102. This series could go either way and there’s surely going to be a lot of betting action for this one. While it’s tough to pick between the two, we’re going to have to go with the Guardians as our pick to move on to the next round.
The Blue Jays will take down the Mariners in the Wild Card Round
In the other matchup for the American League, the Blue Jays will take down the Mariners in the Wild Card Round. With the Blue Jays being the higher seed, this means that the three-game series will be played in Toronto. This is a massive advantage for the Blue Jays, as they’ll hope to move on to the Divisional Round and take on the Houston Astros. Both Seattle and Toronto have what it takes to get the job done.
With the Mariners, their young talent has people all over the Pacific Northwest fired up for this series. The good news for Seattle is that Julio Rodriguez is fully healthy and his back injury is a thing of the past. They’ll need sluggers Ty France, Mitch Hanniger, Cal Raleigh and others to keep swinging the bat with passion. Plus, big pitching performances will be needed from Luis Castillo and Logan Gilbert.
We have game times!
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) October 5, 2022
With the Blue Jays, George Springer, Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette will need to step up and play well too. Guerrero remains one of the most exciting young players in the game and he has the potential to leave the ball park whenever he steps up to the dish. The Mariners pitchers know this, which is why they’re going to have to be extra careful when facing off against him over in Toronto.
According to the best-rated sportsbooks, Toronto has been given -174 odds for this series, while the Mariners are at +148. Seattle, in the postseason for the first time in 21 years, will be hoping to record a memorable upset. That’s going to be easier said than done, as Toronto is tough to take down at home. It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Mariners get the job done, but we’re going with the Blue Jays as our pick.
Astros still hold the top AL odds to get to the Fall Classic
For both of these teams, it won’t help their confidence knowing that the Astros still hold the top AL odds to get to the Fall Classic. The winner of this Mariners-Blue Jays series indeed will go on to meet Houston in the Divisional Round. The Astros hold +450 World Series betting odds, showcasing the potential they have to make serious noise.
Other than the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston holds the best chances of winning the World Series this year. If they do get that job done, it will only add to the legacy for Jose Altuve, Dusty Baker, Alex Bregman and others. If the Blue Jays move on to take on Houston, they’ll have a tall task in trying to beat the Astros.