And here we go. After an incredible regular season for Major League Baseball, we have officially reached the postseason. Several teams suffered heartbreak during the final weekend of the campaign, seeing their playoff dreams come to a close. However, that’s not the case for others who are still clinging to hope of winning the World Series. With that said, the Tampa Bay Rays are among the favorites in the MLB Wild Card Round.
Things are getting started this week for Tampa Bay, a team that had hopes of winning the AL East that year. That wasn’t the case, though, with the Baltimore Orioles coming out on top. Despite that, the Rays still think they have what it takes to make plenty of noise in the postseason. With their strong hitting and pitching, they have a great chance to go on a deep run. Standing in their way early on are the Texas Rangers.
|MLB Wild Card Round|
|Rays to win||-110||-110||-110||-110|
|Rangers to win||+125||+125||+125||+125|
|Phillies to win||-110||-110||-110||-110|
|Marlins to win||+125||+125||+125||+125|
The Rangers finished in second place of the AL West, losing out on the divisional title to the Houston Astros after losing three-of-four games to the Seattle Mariners over the final stretch. Texas is recording a bounce-back year and they want to prove to everyone that this season hasn’t been a fluke for them. Texas would love nothing more than to take down the Rangers and send a statement to the rest of the league.
The two squads will battle in a best-of-three series this week and plenty of people think Tampa Bay will come out on top. According to the best-rated sportsbooks, which includes the reliable Bovada review, the Rays hold -110 MLB betting odds to top Texas and move on to the ALDS. The Rangers aren’t ready to back down, hoping to post an upset with their +125 odds. We don’t think that will happen. We’re going with the Rays as our pick.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 2, 2023
The Phillies are hoping to beat the Marlins in the NL Wild Card Round
Meanwhile on the other side of the bracket, the Phillies are hoping to beat the Marlins in the NL Wild Card Round. Similar to the Rangers, the Marlins have recorded a strong year after a rough 2022. Now, Miami is hoping to keep the good vibes going, but the Phillies are surely going to have something strong to say about that. Philly won the NL pennant last year and they’re hoping to repeat that this fall too.
For the Phillies, there’s surely going to be a ton of pressure on both Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. They are two of the best home-run hitters in the game and they’ll want to put on a show from start to finish during the postseason. That won’t be easy, as Miami has a strong pitching staff. Regardless of that, no one can deny just how good Harper and Schwarber are with the lumber in their hands.
…but who's counting? pic.twitter.com/q9AfdF4Fni
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 1, 2023
The Phillies were hoping to win the NL East this year, but that didn’t happen thanks to the red-hot Atlanta Braves (more on them below). Even though Philly has entered the postseason as a Wild Card team, plenty of experts think they have a great chance of getting back to the World Series. That’s going to be a tough challenge, especially with an interesting series against the Marlins on the way.
Per the oddsmakers, the Phillies hold -110 MLB betting odds to move on to the next round. The Marlins are at +125, which tells you that people in Vegas think Miami’s return to the postseason will be short-lived. We have a feeling this will be a bit closer than people think, with Miami set to make some noise. However, Philly will do what’s needed to advance. We’re going with the Phillies as our pick.
Braves remain the favorites to win the World Series this year
To no surprise, the Braves remain the favorites to win the World Series this year thanks to their incredible play during the regular season. Not only that, but Ronald Acuna Jr. is the favorite to win NL MVP thanks to him topping 40 home runs and more than 70 stolen bases in the seam season. That’s simply unheard of and speaks volumes to the historic season both he and the Braves were able to record this campaign.
Thanks to their strong showing, the Braves don’t have to play until the NLDS. They will take on the winners of one of the Wild Card matchups. Regardless of who they face, Atlanta will be considered major favorites to come away with a series win and move on to the NLCS. Will the Dodgers be waiting for them in that series? We’ll find out soon enough.
Right now, the Braves hold +260 World Series betting odds, while the Dodgers are behind them at +450. That NLCS, should the two advance to play one another, would be totally epic. Atlanta is playing with a ton of confidence right now and rightfully so. They’re certainly our pick to win the World Series. It’d be a bit of a stunner if Brian Snitker and Co. aren’t able to get the job done this time around.