2015 National League Pennant Odds

Bryce Harper and the Nationals are favorites to win the 2015 NL Pennant.

Washington Nationals 13/4 – The addition of Max Scherzer rocketed the Nationals to the top contenders in the National League and rightfully so. He will eat innings which will help the bullpen. The offense is solid, but not spectacular in my opinion but I do like skipper Matt Williams a lot because he knows how to generate some runs.

Los Angeles Dodgers 19/4 – Brandon McCarthy makes the starting rotation deeper but did the bullpen and offense get any better? I think the Dodgers challenge but any dropoff could result in Don Mattingly going bye-bye.

Chicago Cubs 6/1 – Joe Maddon instantly adds wins to this team and adding some more talent to the already talented youth doesn’t hurt either. Can they live up to higher expectations? Time will tell.

San Diego Padres 13/2 – The addition of James Shields will give the pitching staff a much needed boost and the offense will be better as well. The problem is the division where the Giants and Dodgers aren’t going to go away anytime soon.

St. Louis Cardinals 13/2 – Although some extra pitching would have been nice in the offseason, the Cardinals did add Jason Heyward to the outfield and the line-up. I see no reason why the Cards aren’t right where they usually are in the end.

Madison Bumgarner will need a repeat performance if the Giants are to repeat as the champs.

San Francisco Giants 17/2 – The defending champs aren’t fond of odd-numbered years and their pitching staff, outside of Madison Bumgarner is a little questionable. Plus, who replaces Pablo Sandoval?

New York Mets 14/1 – Michael Cuddyer comes over from Colorado so while we can expect his numbers to drop a bit he is still a solid upgrade. There are capable players on this team so if the pitching can come through the Mets could be a challenge in the East.

Pittsburgh Pirates 14/1 – The Battling Buccos have to replace Russell Martin behind the dish and that won’t be easy. He was a great leader and was well-liked by the fans. A.J. Burnett returns to the rotation but will they get enough out of the starters this year?

Miami Marlins 16/1 – This team will have a very exciting outfield which should put butts in seats. The questions will be mostly about pitching and whether the Marlins will have enough of it to stay with the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds 28/1 – After competing in recent years the Reds will take a significant step back. They lack any real depth and should they stay healthy could be a factor but they dumped too many guys to consider them.

Atlanta Braves 33/1 – The Braves unloaded a lot of players recently and seem to be throwing in the towel for this season and maybe next year as well.

Milwaukee Brewers 33/1 – The Brewmasters started so hot last season but then the roof collapsed and they were caught by St. Louis and Pittsburgh. I don’t see any type of start this year resembling what they did in 2014.

Arizona Diamondbacks 50/1 – This team is destined for the basement in the National League West unless they can best the Rockies which is debatable. The Padres got better and there’s no way they are in the same league as the Dodgers and Giants.

Colorado Rockies 75/1 – The Rockies have very little pitching and the offense is going to rely too heavily on just a couple of guys for them to be taken seriously in 2015.

Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 – It’s a fantastic baseball city that probably deserves better but I don’t see much hope in sight. This is going to be another long year especially in a division with three top, improved teams.

Who I like… As much as I hate going with the favorite, I think Washington gets over the hump behind a monster pitching staff and wins the pennant.

MLB Win Projections for 2015

Can the Royals duplicate their success of last year?

Can you believe teams have already reported for spring training in Florida and Arizona? Seems like the season just ended doesn’t it? Here are you season total win total projections from our friends at Bovada.

Arizona Diamondbacks – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      71½ (-115)

Under                                   71½ (-115)

Despite the changes, I like the UNDER.

Atlanta Braves – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      73½ (-115)

Under                                   73½ (-115)

The Braves always seem to find a way to succeed. Take the OVER.

Baltimore Orioles – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      82½ (-115)

Under                                   82½ (-115)

I think they take a step back but go with the OVER.

Boston Red Sox – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      86½ (-115)

Under                                   86½ (-115)

The BoSox have upgraded in all the right places. Take the OVER.

Chicago Cubs – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      82½ (-115)

Under                                   82½ (-115)

Will the Cubs be better? Yes, but I’m not ready for over .500 so take the UNDER.

Chicago White Sox – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      81½ (-115)

Under                                   81½ (-115)

I’m just not convinced this team is ready for recovery yet. Take the UNDER.

Cincinnati Reds – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      77½ (-115)

Under                                   77½ (-115)

Take the UNDER as the Reds are still reshuffling the deck.

Cleveland Indians – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      83½ (-115)

Under                                   83½ (-115)

Take the OVER. I like the direction of the Indians.

Colorado Rockies – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      71½ (-115)

Under                                   71½ (-115)

I don’t see much to be positive about here. Take the UNDER.

Detroit Tigers – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      84½ (-115)

Under                                   84½ (-115)

It’s really hard to see them doing as well as recent years with injuries and pitching losses. Take the UNDER.

Houston Astros – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      74½ (-115)

Under                                   74½ (-115)

Arrow up on the Astros. I like the OVER.

Kansas City Royals – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      79½ (-115)

Under                                   79½ (-115)

Can they repeat last year’s success? I say no. Take the OVER.

Los Angeles Angels – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      89½ (-115)

Under                                   89½ (-115)

Take the OVER. Big year coming from the Halos.

LA Dodgers
Can the Dodgers get over the hump and get to the World Series?

Los Angeles Dodgers – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      92½ (-115)

Under                                   92½ (-115)

It’s a big number but I’ll take the OVER.

Miami Marlins – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      81½ (-115)

Under                                   81½ (-115)

I really like the OVER here as new additions boost the Marlins.

Milwaukee Brewers – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      78½ (-115)

Under                                   78½ (-115)

Take the UNDER in a super-competitive NL Central.

Minnesota Twins – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      70½ (-115)

Under                                   70½ (-115)

Managerial change brings instability. Take the UNDER.

New York Mets – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      81½ (-115)

Under                                   81½ (-115)

What reason have they given me to be excited? Take the UNDER.

New York Yankees – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      81½ (-115)

Under                                   81½ (-115)

If A-Rod can contribute without being a problem, I like the OVER.

Oakland Athletics – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      80½ (-115)

Under                                   80½ (-115)

They stumbled to the finish last year and it continues in 2015. Take the UNDER.

Philadelphia Phillies – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      68½ (-115)

Under                                   68½ (-115)

Can they really be this bad? Yes, take the UNDER.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      83½ (-115)

Under                                   83½ (-115)

Playoffs for two straight years in Pittsburgh and things look as good this season. Take the OVER.

San Diego Padres – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      85½ (-115)

Under                                   85½ (-115)

Fantastic additions but I’m still going UNDER.

San Francisco Giants – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      84½ (-115)

Under                                   84½ (-115)

The defending champs have some offense to replace but I still like the OVER.

Seattle Mariners – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      86½ (-115)

Under                                   86½ (-115)

Could the Mariners be the cream of the crop in the AL? Maybe and I’m taking the OVER.

St. Louis Cardinals – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      88½ (-115)

Under                                   88½ (-115)

This number is really close for me. I’ll take the UNDER but barely.

Tampa Bay Rays – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      78½ (-115)

Under                                   78½ (-115)

I just don’t see this team improving much. Take the UNDER.

Texas Rangers – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      77½ (-115)

Under                                   77½ (-115)

With Profar likely out for the season I’ll take the UNDER.

Toronto Blue Jays – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      82½ (-115)

Under                                   82½ (-115)

Lots of excitement in Canada about this team and rightfully so. I’ll take the OVER.

Washington Nationals – Total Regular Season Wins in 2015

Over                                      92½ (-115)

Under                                   92½ (-115)

I see no reason why this shouldn’t be a World Series team. Take the OVER.

Washington Nationals Move To Top of World Series Futures

It may be just mid January, with the NFL preparing for the Super Bowl, the NCAA for March Madness and the NBA for the All-Star break.

However, odds makers have released their futures for the World Series to be played in October.

This offseason has been relatively quiet for Major League Baseball, but that ended when Max Scherzer signed a $210 million seven-year deal with the Washington Nationals.

Upon the signing, the Nationals moved up to the top spot on the MLB Futures board as well as on Bovada and betonline for the World Series. The Nationals had their odds shrink to 5 to 1 to win the World Series.

Washington was priced following the Winter Meetings at 8 to 1, but passed the Dodgers and are now the new favorite to win the 2015 World Series.

With Scherzer in the fold, the Nats have a rotation of Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez. With a rotation like that, it is safe to say it is the best in baseball.

While the signing of Scherzer was certainly a big deal, the depth of their rotation might allow them to solidify their weaknesses, most notably the infield.

It is quite possible this is not the last of the signings by the Nationals during the offseason.

The Detroit Tiger, the team that lost Scherzer saw their odds to win the World Series double to 20 to 1 from 10 to 1.

Nobody will likely feel sorry for the Tigers, as their rotation will be led by the talented southpaw David Price and their batting order by Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers should once again be very strong.

The Dodgers have not been as active in the trade or free agent market as they were last season, with the exception of trading Matt Kemp their talented outfielder to San Diego. Nevertheless, with their strong pitching rotation the Dodgers are a strong second on the futures board.

The futures will undoubtedly see many more movements before the regular season starts in April. However, on this day, the Nationals are at the top of the board on both topbet and sportsbook.com.

2015 World Series Futures


I Like the Tigers and Nationals in the Fall Classic

Justin Verlander


Justin Verlander
I expect Verlander and the Tigers to get over the hump and win the World Series.

In most parts of the country right now the last thing on anyone’s mind is Spring. After all, parts of the Midwest and Eastern portions of the United States were dumped on again by old man winter. Pittsburgh for example is supposed to host opening day in less than a week but the diamond at PNC Park was covered with snow yesterday.

Because the snow is still flying doesn’t mean I have to be relegated to discussing March Madness or the NBA right now because baseball’s Opening Day is within sight and it’s now time for my fearless predictions that you may or may not want to take to the bank.


East Division Champions – Tampa Bay Rays

The Yankees are in trouble as are the Red Sox. I expect Toronto to make a more serious run with added pitching and the Orioles will present challenges but I don’t see them making it past Toronto and Tampa. The Rays have pitching, defense and solid hitting which means a division title.

Central Division Champions – Detroit Tigers

This is a mediocre division that I actually expect to be over by Mid-August. Kansas City will be better as will Cleveland but the Tigers are all-in with the addition of Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez back in the line-up to go with that pitching. Anything less than a World Series appearance for this team is a failure.

West Division Champions – Texas Rangers

Popular opinion says take the Angels with offensive prowess and I believe they’ll challenge Texas but I still like the Rangers’ pitching a little better in terms of winning the division. Don’t completely count out the Athletics simply because we never should. This could be a CY Young type year for the Rangers’ Yu Darvish.

Wild-Cards – Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels

AL Championship – Detroit over Tampa Bay

AL Most Valuable Player – Miguel Cabrera, has too much protection around him to not have another huge year.

AL CY Young – Justin Verlander, until he proves otherwise, he is still the man to beat.


Stephen Strasburg
Look for Strasburg to make a run at the NL Cy Young Award in 2013.


East Division Champions – Washington Nationals

Most pundits and myself expect a big year from Bryce Harper. I’m not ready to say an ‘MVP-type’ season yet, but it should be a big year. The pitching staff in D.C. is excellent and should keep the Braves at bay.

Central Division Champions – Cincinnati Reds

Aroldis Chapman will stay in the closer’s role and I like that. Let Joey Votto and company get the lead and Chapman can lock down games. I expect the Cardinals to be competitive but I’m not sure they have the man-power to hang with Cincy.

West Division Champions – Los Angeles Dodgers

For the first time in many years, there is finally stability in the organization and the ownership group has shown they will spend any amount to field a winner. I like Arizona to challenge but they just won’t be to hang in with the talent and spending power of the Dodgers.

Wild-Cards – San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves

NL Championship – Washington over Cincinnati

NL Most Valuable Player – Joey Votto, only a knee injury kept him from winning it last season. If he stays healthy in ’13 the award will be his.

NL Cy Young – Stephen Strasburg, I believe there will be serious motivation to prove he should have never been shut down last fall.

World Series – Detroit over Washington in 6 games, last fall the Tigers’ bats fell silent against the Giants. They will face tough pitching again this fall but they are now better equipped to handle it from 1-9. I also expect the experience of last year’s World Series trip to pay dividends for the Detroit.

MLB Futures Update

The new-look Toronto Blue Jays remain the bookies' favorite to win the 2013 World Series.

In 47 days’ time, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will take to the baseball diamond at Minute Maid Park, raising the curtain on the 2013 Major League Baseball Season.

With pitchers and catchers arriving in Arizona and Florida this week for Spring Training, there’s still plenty of deals to be done before that first pitch is thrown – not to mention a cavalcade of storylines that still need to fully unravel – but Casino Review is going to take this time to look at the updated MLB futures, and how they could still be impacted six weeks or so before the season proper gets underway.

Currently No. 1 on the MLB futures list is Toronto. Since November’s mega-trade with the Miami Marlins, the Blue Jays have held firm at the top of bookmakers list.

The retooled Blue Jays will welcome the likes of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera, and 2012 Cy Young award-winner, R.A. Dickey to the fold when the team takes to the Rogers Centre field for its first game on Apr. 2.

Whilst the collection of talent – the likes of which the Blue Jays have never seen before, even during its World Series winning season of 1992 and 1993 – has wowed bookmakers to the tune of 7/1 odds to win the World Series, bettors need only take a look at this season’s Los Angeles Lakers, or last year’s Miami Marlins for that matter, to see how this could blow up in their face.

Toronto is 7/2 to win the AL pennant at this time.

No. 2 on the MLB futures list is Washington. The Nationals are considered 8/1 to win the World Series next season, and 15/4 to win the NL pennant.

After enjoying the franchise’s best season since moving to D.C., Washington had the luxury this winter of sticking with what brought it to the dance. Aside from the usual tinkering and sorting that goes along with the offseason, the team did add closer Rafael Soriano to the bullpen, at the cost of a two-year, $28 million contract. That instantly makes the Nationals a better side.

At 8/1 to win the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers sit level with Washington on the World Series futures list, but the Southern California side narrowly trails the Nationals in terms of the NL pennant. The Dodgers are considered 4/1 to win the National League.

Like the Blue Jays, the Dodgers were involved in a blockbuster trade last year, only in this case it happened during the season. The arrival of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford might not have come in time for the Dodgers to catch San Francisco in the NL West, but odds makers like the side’s chances from the off this season.

The MLB futures’ top five is rounded out by Detroit and the Los Angeles Angels, both of whom are considered 9/1 to win the World Series, and 9/2 to win the AL pennant.

After winning the AL pennant in 2012, the Tigers haven’t made a huge splash in the market this offseason, but with it expected that Victor Martinez should return from injury (ACL) this season in the DH spot, odds makers like the Motor City side to contend again. It doesn’t harm that AL MVP and Triple Crown-winner Miguel Cabrera will be back at third base.

The Angels did make a splash this winter, signing free agent Josh Hamilton from under the noses of the Texas Rangers. Hamilton – who has suffered alcohol dependency issues – is a risk but one the Angels and bookmakers like, especially when the long ball hitter is next to Albert Pujols.

We’ve included a breakdown of all odds pertaining to the World Series, American League and National League below, but here are a few more noteworthy observations.

World Series champion San Francisco finds itself in joint sixth spot on the World Series futures (14/1) alongside Atlanta, Cincinnati, the New York Yankees and Texas. The Giants are tied with Atlanta in fourth place on the NL futures (7/1) behind Washington, the Dodgers, and Cincinnati (6/1).

The Yankees and Rangers (both 13/2) are tied for fourth spot in the AL with plenty of questions surrounding the organizations, not least in New York’s case the uncertainty surrounding the health and possible PED usage of Alex Rodriguez.

At the other end of the futures list, Houston is the least favored team in terms of the World Series (200/1) and, in its first season in the league, the AL pennant (75/1).

After shipping the majority of its high-priced talent north to Toronto, Miami finds itself at the bottom of the NL list, alongside the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies at 50/1. Each of those sides, as well as Minnesota and the New York Mets, is considered 100/1 to win the World Series.


Odds to Win 2013 World Series

Toronto Blue Jays 7/1

Los Angeles Dodgers 8/1

Washington Nationals 8/1

Detroit Tigers 9/1

Los Angeles Angels 9/1

Atlanta Braves 14/1

Cincinnati Reds 14/1

New York Yankees 14/1

San Francisco Giants 14/1

Texas Rangers 14/1

Philadelphia Phillies 18/1

St. Louis Cardinals 20/1

Tampa Bay Rays 25/1

Boston Red Sox 30/1

Oakland Athletics 33/1

Baltimore Orioles 40/1

Chicago White Sox 40/1

Milwaukee Brewers 40/1

Arizona Diamondbacks 50/1

Kansas City Royals 50/1

Pittsburgh Pirates 50/1

Cleveland Indians 75/1

San Diego Padres 75/1

Seattle Mariners 75/1

Chicago Cubs 100/1

Colorado Rockies 100/1

Miami Marlins 100/1

Minnesota Twins 100/1

New York Mets 100/1

Houston Astros 200/1


Odds to Win 2013 AL Pennant

Toronto Blue Jays 7/2

Detroit Tigers 9/2

Los Angeles Angels 9/2

New York Yankees 13/2

Texas Rangers 13/2

Tampa Bay Rays 12/1

Boston Red Sox 14/1

Oakland Athletics 16/1

Baltimore Orioles 20/1

Chicago White Sox 20/1

Kansas City Royals 25/1

Cleveland Indians 40/1

Seattle Mariners 40/1

Minnesota Twins 50/1

Houston Astros 75/1


Odds to Win 2013 NL Pennant

Washington Nationals 15/4

Los Angeles Dodgers 4/1

Cincinnati Reds 6/1

Atlanta Braves 7/1

San Francisco Giants 7/1

Philadelphia Phillies 17/2

St. Louis Cardinals 9/1

Milwaukee Brewers 18/1

Arizona Diamondbacks 25/1

Pittsburgh Pirates 25/1

New York Mets 40/1

San Diego Padres 40/1

Chicago Cubs 50/1

Colorado Rockies 50/1

Miami Marlins 50/1

All odds supplied by Bovada.

MLB Postseason Takes Center Stage

Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals will look to spoil Washington’s first postseason game at home since 1933.

There’s only one place you need to be today: in front of your television screen watching as the MLB postseason unfolds without the distraction of football (college or pro). Well, I guess being at the ballpark would give you a second option of somewhere to be, but you get the picture.

Wednesday sees all eight remaining teams in action, with Oakland and San Francisco looking to stave off defeat and a postseason exit for the second straight night. Here are some things to look out for then, starting with this afternoon’s NLDS clash in the Capital.


St. Louis Cardinals @ Washington Nationals Series tied 1-1


Pitching Matchup: Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71 ERA) Vs. Edwin Jackson (10-11, 4.03 ERA)

Wednesday’s lunchtime game at Nationals Ballpark marks the first postseason game to be played in the Nation’s capital since October 7, 1933.

That game took place at the long-gone Griffith Stadium – the Howard University Hospital stands in its place today – and saw the New York Giants defeat the Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) 4-3 in 10 innings. With the win, the Giants took the World Series and sent Washington spiraling into mediocrity, and on to Minneapolis.

Today’s Nationals side will be looking for a better result.

St. Louis rebounded from a tough loss on Sunday with a huge (12-4) win on Monday to even the series. While MLB Futures may still consider the Cards an outsider, the victory proved that writing off the defending champs is a bad idea.

Chris Carpenter takes the mound despite only pitching 17 innings this season. The Cardinals are confident their ace can do the business against the Nationals. Washington meantime will be burdened by the knowledge that a loss will cast even more shadows over that decision to shut down Strasburg. Edwin Jackson will be looking to shine against his old team.

Take: Washington. This, like all baseball picks at this time of the year, is a tough call but there’s something about postseason home debuts. This series will most likely go five though.


San Francisco Giants @ Cincinnati Reds CIN leads series 2-1


Pitching Matchup: Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15 ERA) Vs. Mat Latos (14-4, 3.48 ERA) or Mike Leake (8-9, 4.58 ERA)

San Francisco (and Oakland) had its backs against the bay on Tuesday night but managed to get the job done. Can they do it for a second game in a row? Oddsmakers think not, making the Reds favorites.

Barry Zito takes the hill for the Giants for his first postseason game since 2006 – he was left out of the rotation on the way to the World Series in 2010. Cincinnati fans will rejoice, knowing that the Giants have not beaten Cincinnati in the last four games Zito has started.

Cincinnati meanwhile will make the decision later today as to whom to go with. Mat Latos is available, and took Game 1 of this serious. Alternatively, Mike Leake could go leaving Latos available for the decider on Friday (if necessary). Leake doesn’t have great numbers this year, but he pitches well against the Giants.

San Francisco – batting an anemic .126 – need some kind of offensive output if it’s to force this series to a fifth game.

Take: Cincinnati. First in the postseason, first to advance. Having scored just four runs in three games, the Giants simply look worn out.


Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees Series tied 1-1

7:30 PM ET

Pitching Matchup: Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25 ERA) Vs. Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32 ERA)

The Orioles continue to do their best Boris Karloff impression, simply refusing to die. A 3-2 victory on Monday knotted this series, and proved that separating the Yankees and O’s this season is simply impossible.

Baltimore arrives at Yankee Stadium tonight looking to upset the Yankees. Will they? Won’t they? As has been the case all season, it’s tough to tell.

Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound for New York. The argument can be made that Kuroda was the Yanks’ best pitcher this season, but he’s just 1-1 against Baltimore this season. He’ll be up against Miguel Gonzalez. The O’s righty is 2-0 against the Yankees this season, and has proven to be one of the bright spots in the young Orioles rotation.

Baltimore has a 6-3 record at the Stadium this season, a rare blemish on the Yankees’ best home record in baseball. Rather than be in awe of those legendary statues and the heritage of the franchise, Baltimore comes into town and rolls with it. Doing the same tonight would give the Orioles a huge boost, and cut down those MLB Futures odds.

Take: Baltimore. Upsets are in the air and the Birds might just sneak this one. Expect the series to go five though.


Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics DET leads series 2-1

9:30 PM ET

Pitching Matchup: Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74 ERA) Vs. A.J. Griffin (7-1, 3.06 ERA)

Oakland pulled out the stops in Tuesday’s 2-0 game to stave off elimination and force a Game 4 tonight. Detroit – taking advantage of the skewed homefield ‘advantage’, something that really needs to be fixed next year – will look for a second straight night to eliminate their upstart opponents.

For Detroit, Max Scherzer takes the mound, and we’re assured by Jim Leiland at least) that he’s 100 percent and good to go. If that’ true, trouble could be brewing for the A’s. Scherzer was lights out this season.

However, A.J. Griffin proved to be no slouch this year, and he’ll be looking to prove himself following last Wednesday’s outing that saw him give up five early runs to Texas before the A’s miraculously took the AL West.

So far this series has been tight, with the largest scoring margin just two runs. Anyone else thinks we might see some likely bats tonight?

Take: Oakland. After the season the A’s have had, how could you possibly bet against the Bay Area team pulling off another unthinkable escape?

Monday Night Football and MLB Postseason Should Keep You Busy

Andy Pettitte takes to the mound for the first time in the postseason since losing Game 3 of the ALCS in 2010.


Indianapolis, Miami, Seattle, and St. Louis were all underdog winners in Week 5 of the NFL and the New York Jets will be hoping to join them as they host Houston on Monday Night Football. The matchup will bring this week’s NFL action to a close before Thursday Night Football sees Pittsburgh travel to Tennessee.

Football’s not the only big time action tonight either. The divisional round of the MLB postseason continues with two pivotal matchups, one either side of the NL/AL divide. First, the Cardinals host the Nationals before the Yankees visit Baltimore.

Put simply, there’s enough betting action tonight to keep you off the streets.


NFL: Houston Texans @ New York Jets

8:30 PM ET

Houston New York. We have a problem.

With news that Santonio Holmes is on the shelf for the rest of the year, the green side of New York is panicking. The Jets (2-2, 1-1 home) are under-manned with the ‘Best Team in Football’ coming to town for tonight’s edition of Monday Night Football.

Houston (4-0, 2-0 road) has looked sharp both offensively and defensively this season on the way to an unbeaten record through four weeks of play. The Texans will be a wildly popular choice to join the Atlanta Falcons as the only 5-0 teams in the league.

The miserable Jets have shown very few signs of life since a surprising Week 1 demolition job on Buffalo, with last week’s 34-0 shutout by San Francisco proving the icing on a very unsavory, not to mention ugly, cake. Sure, San Francisco looks like one of the league’s best, but how does a team tally exactly zero points at home?

History favors the Jets, who are 5-0 all-time against the Texans, but common sense declares bettors must stay away from the Jets.

Odds: Houston is favorite (-9) heading into the game with the under/over at 41 points.

Take: Houston. If there’s a lifeline for the Jets, it’s very well hidden. Houston will have few problems against a weakened Jets team, and will beat the spread for the fifth time this season. The total may well go under – as is common with both of these sides of late – but if it goes over it’ll be down to Houston racking up the points.


MLB: Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals (WAS leads series 1-0)

4:30 PM ET

Pitching matchup: Jordan Zimmerman (12-8, 2.98 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92 ERA)

The Nationals made hard work of their first postseason game since moving south from Montreal, narrowly picking off St. Louis 3-2 on Sunday night.

It took some eighth inning heroics from rookie Tyler Moore to fend off the Cardinals, who were flying high on Friday’s stunning upset of the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card round.

Jordan Zimmerman takes the mound for the Nationals, hoping to propel the team to a 2-0 series lead before heading back to Washington for the Capital’s first postseason baseball game since 1933. He has the advantage on paper over St. Louis’ Jaime Garcia but paper means exactly squat at this time of the season.

For the Nationals to be successful they’ll need to have better offensive performances from the likes of Jayson Werth. For St. Louis, more of the same will suffice.

Take: Washington. When a team gets away with a narrow victory – as Washington did last night – it tends to generate a little extra impetus to do better next time out. St. Louis needs to regroup after being ‘so close’.


MLB: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles (NYY leads series 1-0)

8:00 PM ET

Pitching matchup: Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.87 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (12-11, 4.02 ERA)

Baltimore’s bullpen has been instrumental in the Orioles making the postseason for the first time in 15 years. It’s ironic then that it was the bullpen that lost Sunday night’s series opener.

That bullpen could be vital again tonight as Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen averages just six innings per start. Six innings this time round will lead to some nervous jitters for sure. The Orioles though will be buoyed by the knowledge that when Chen pitches on six days rest – as he will do on Monday – his ERA drops to 2.28.

Andy Pettitte finds himself as the number two man in the rotation for the first time this year. The Yankees will be hoping that the veteran is more than just a good omen.

New York has played well at Camden Yards all season (6-3) and will be confident that those ninth inning hot bats will follow through to Monday night’s game.

Take: New York. The Yankees have much more to prove than the Orioles this season, and it started well last night. Now the trick for the Orioles will be going into Yankee Stadium and picking up wins. That might not be as daunting a task as you think: the Orioles are 6-3 at the Stadium this season.

Yanks, Nats and Reds Lead MLB Postseason Odds


The postseason is finally here and after much tinkering in the light of Wednesday’s epic final day of the season, bookmakers have released their League pennant and World Series odds.

Surprising to some, less so to other, New York, Cincinnati and Washington lead the pack, with a three-way tie in World Series odds. Of course, all of this will change quickly after tonight’s Wild Card games.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the 10 postseason teams looking to lift the Commissioner’s Trophy before the month is out.



AL East champs New York are favorites to win the pennant and joint favorites (with Cincinnati and Washington) to win the World Series.

New York Yankees

Record: 95-67 (51-30 home, 44-37 away)

The Yankees can make good use of the best home record in baseball as they have homefield advantage through the ALCS. The National League’s All-Star Game victory means the Yanks will play the road schedule should they make the World Series. New York has a winning record this season against all postseason teams, excluding Cincinnati (1-2) but hasn’t played San Francisco and St. Louis. The Yankees are favorites to take the American League pennant and joint favorite (with Cincinnati and Washington) to win it all.

AL Pennant: 9/4

World Series: 5/1


Detroit Tigers

Record: 88-74 (50-31 home, 38-43 away)

The Tigers practically snuck in the back door to get to the postseason but as they say, it doesn’t matter how you got there. The Tigers have shot up oddsmakers polls thanks in part to Miggy Cabrera’s historic Triple Crown achievement. Detroit is well set to start off Saturday’s ALDS with Oakland, with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer ready to go in the home leg of the series.

AL Pennant: 11/4

World Series: 6/1


Texas Rangers

Record: 93-69 (50-31 home, 43-38 away)

A 4-9 record over the last two weeks of the season damaged Texas in the eyes of the oddsmakers as well as hurling the Rangers into a one-game Wild Card playoff with Baltimore. The team that led the American League for so much of the season faltered at the wrong time. A win over the Orioles on Friday will put everything back on track, sort of. The Yankees await and Texas didn’t exactly make a good showing off themselves in last month’s four-game set between the two.

AL Pennant: 13/4

World Series: 7/1


Oakland Athletics

Record: 94-68 (50-31 home, 44-37 away)

It seems that oddsmakers are yet to believe the magic that’s transformed Oakland from a bottom of the table team to AL West champs. A young pitching staff and a roster of no-name vets and youngsters may not look appealing on paper, but the A’s have played the best baseball in the league since July. Betting against that ending now could be a mistake.

AL Pennant: 7/2

World Series: 15/2


Baltimore Orioles

Record: 93-69 (47-34 home, 46-35 away)

Despite an astounding season that has seen the Orioles make the postseason for the first time since 1997, oddsmakers don’t like Baltimore’s chances, either in this Friday’s Wild Card game or going forward. Up against Yu Darvish, who has played his best ball over the past month or so, the Orioles are underdogs in Texas and from here on out.

AL Pennant: 7/1

World Series: 15/1



The Cincinnati Reds are marginal favorites to win the National League pennant ahead of Washington and San Francisco.

Cincinnati Reds

Record: 97-65 (50-31 home, 47-34 away)

Despite the Nationals finishing with a better record, and one that included a 5-2 edge in the head-to-head, oddsmakers like Cincinnati’s chances of taking the NL pennant more than Washington. Perhaps it’s the Stephen Strasburg effect. Perhaps it’s the solid pitching of Jose Cuerto. Perhaps it’s that San Francisco may be considered an easier series than Atlanta (if they may it out of the Wild Card). Whatever it is, separating the Reds and Nats has been a difficult task all season and isn’t about to get any easier now.

NL Pennant: 2/1

World Series: 5/1


Washington Nationals

Record: 98-64 (50-31 home, 48-33 away)

With both the best record and road record in baseball, you’d expect Washington to be favorites heading into the postseason, but it hasn’t been straightforward for the Nationals this season, despite such an impressive record. Atlanta has loomed all season, and holds a 7-8 win in the head-to-head stakes, whilst both the Yankees and Orioles have bettered the Nats outright this season. If hanging in there has been the theme of the year, expect more of the same this October.

NL Pennant: 9/4

World Series: 5/1


San Francisco Giants

Record: 94-68 (48-33 home, 46-35 away)

Somewhat forgotten in the drama of the last few days of the season, San Francisco enters the postseason quietly but with more than a few aces up its sleeve. After Melky Cabrera’s high-profile suspension, the team pulled together and ousted the Dodgers on the way to an impressive NL West win. But the Giants face a tricky path. They’ve lost head-to-heads against both Washington and Cincinnati this season whilst tying with St. Louis and beating Atlanta by just one game. If they make it out of the NLDS, whoever they face will be a tough outing. Still, how many people are rooting for the first Bay Area World Series since 1989? Without the earthquake of course.

NL Pennant: 3/1

World Series: 15/2


Atlanta Braves

Record: 94-68 (48-33 home, 46-35 away)

Sometimes teams find themselves in the wrong division. Atlanta played well enough this season to win a division, but Washington’s surprise season put a stop to that. The Chipper Jones farewell tour now takes in a Wild Card game with St. Louis before potentially making its way back to Washington. Despite playing tough, Atlanta doesn’t have a good record against teams in the postseason, except St. Louis (5-1) and Washington (8-7). That’s handy then. The Braves certainly have the experience to go far, and if they make it out of the Wild Card round you can expect those odds to be slashed.

NL Pennant: 13/2

World Series: 12/1


St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 88-74 (50-31 home, 38-43 away)

Underdogs last year, underdogs again this year. St. Louis played well enough to make the postseason, they just had to wait for the trailing pack to, well, trail off. Up against Kris Medlen and the Braves in the Wild Card game on Friday, things don’t look good for the Cards, but this is a team used to upset wins. The Birds have played Cincinnati, Washington and San Francisco tight this year, so if they do manage to upset Atlanta, there may be no limit to what is achievable this year, just like last year.

NL Pennant: 7/1

World Series: 15/1

Final Day of MLB Regular Season?

The surprising Baltimore Orioles (above) and Oakland Athletics will both look to take division titles away from their heavily-favored opponents, New York and Texas.


In this rollercoaster ride of a season, is it any surprise that we arrive at the final day of the season with as many questions as answers?

After 161 games, we’ve seen Baltimore, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Washington surprise everybody. We’ve seen Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Arizona – all making the postseason last year – underachieve while Boston straight up bottomed out. We’ve seen Detroit falter, yet somehow manage to curb the White Sox and make the postseason.

With unsuspecting storylines aplenty, we really shouldn’t be surprised that only after Wednesday’s slate of games will many of our remaining questions be answered. And it could take even longer than that.


National League All But Sorted

San Francisco’s win over the Dodgers on Tuesday night eliminated the Los Angeles (85-76) side from postseason contention, handing St. Louis (87-74) – who fell to Cincinnati earlier in the evening – the second and final Wild Card berth.

Following Wednesday’s wrap-up with the Reds, the Cardinals will travel to Atlanta (93-68) for a Wild Card showdown with the Braves. It’s a matchup that’s been on the cards [no pun intended] for the better part of a month now, but it took until game 161 to confirm it.

Bettors looking for an edge should consider this: Atlanta is 5-1 against St. Louis this season, with a 2-1 record at Turner Field.

The only other question left in the National League is who will finish with the number one seed. Washington (97-64) and Cincinnati (97-64) remained tied for best record in the NL and the Majors with wins on Tuesday night. Washington holds the tiebreaker by way of a 5-2 head-to-head record.

A Washington win or a Cincinnati loss will give the Nationals homefield advantage throughout the postseason, as well as setting up a Divisional Series against the winner of the Wild Card game.

A Cincinnati win coupled with a Washington loss gives Cincinnati the homefield advantage, while sending Washington to San Francisco for the opening Divisional Series.


AL West Crown To Be Decided Wednesday Afternoon

Having essentially shocked the world, Oakland (93-68) took a 3-1 win over Texas (93-68) on Tuesday night to put the two sides neck and neck with one game to play.

Having been a season-high 13 games behind on June 30, Oakland has rallied and astonishingly caught up with the Rangers, who have led the division since game 3 of the season.

Wednesday’s game (3:35 PM ET) will decide the division winner, with the loser heading to the Wild Card game on Friday.

Of course, trying to separate these two is tough enough, but determining who ends up going where later this week is all but impossible. Here’s what we can deduce at this time.

If Oakland loses on Wednesday, the team will be hitting the road for the Wild Card round. The A’s will take on the AL East division runner up (either the Orioles or Yankees).

If Texas loses, their destination will depend on how the AL East plays out. Texas currently holds the tiebreaker over Baltimore, but an Orioles win on Wednesday erases that advantage. New York holds the tiebreaker over Texas regardless. So, Texas could be headed to Baltimore or The Bronx, or could host the Orioles at Rangers Ballpark.


AL East Could Go Beyond 162

Despite expectations, having started hot, Baltimore (93-68) has never fallen away and now the Orioles are heading to the postseason for the first time since 1997. Keeping with the theme of hanging in there, the Maryland side could still win the AL East outright.

For the New York Yankees (94-67) it’s simple: win on Wednesday and take the division title. But things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for the Bronx Bombers this season, and with a seething Boston side visiting Yankee Stadium one last time this season, you wouldn’t be laughed at for putting your money on the Red Sox being spoilers on Wednesday night.

It’s fairly simple for Baltimore too. While the O’s no longer have their fate in their own hands, a win in Tampa Bay is a necessity on Wednesday. Why?

A win coupled with a Yankees loss forces game 163. The AL East decider would be played at Camden Yards – the two sides have split 18 games evenly, but Baltimore has a better record against the AL East, which is the second tiebreaker.

Even if the Yankees win and take the title on Wednesday, a win for Baltimore over the Rays guarantees homefield advantage in the Wild Card round. As it stands, Baltimore owns the tiebreaker against Oakland but not Texas, both of whom currently hold an identical record to the Orioles. With the two deciding the AL West title on Wednesday, Baltimore would do well to ensure that whoever loses has to make the long trip east.


But what does all this mean to the betting odds?

Well, with the way the season’s played out so far, would you bet against Oakland shocking Texas and taking the title? Would you bet against game 163 being won by Baltimore, leaving the Yankees to face Texas – the two teams with shortest odds of winning the World Series – in a one-game playoff? That would certainly cost a lot of people a lot of money.

Whichever way you look at it, with one day left of the regular season it would be tough for Major League Baseball to be any more exciting.

Penultimate Day of MLB Regular Season

For the Baltimore Orioles to win the AL East, Jon Lester and the Red Sox will need to pick off the Yankees today and tomorrow. That's a tough ask.

Just four days ago no American League team had booked its place in the postseason. Now we know all five competitors. We just don’t know who enters as division winners and who enters as Wild Cards.

Meanwhile, with much of the National League postseason having been booked for nearly two weeks, there’s still one place to play for with just two games left to play. It’s down to the Cardinals to hold off the Dodgers in this one.

When you wake tomorrow (Wednesday), all of this could be sorted. That means tonight could be your last chance for meaningful MLB betting. Well, until the postseason begins on Friday with the inaugural second Wild Card round.


Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

(7:05 PM ET)

Pitching matchup: Jon Lester (9-14, 4.94 ERA) Vs. David Phelps (4-4, 3.34 ERA)

Following Monday night’s win, New York (93-67, 49-30 home) needs just one win to secure the AL East title. The Yankees have two tries against the Red Sox to record that win.

Whilst Boston (69-91, 34-47 road) has little to play for – finishing above Toronto?­ ­– spoiling the Yankees’ division hopes would be just fine by the Bean Town faithful.

Lester will be grateful for the end of the season, along with a lot of Red Sox players, although a win tonight would at least give him a winning record (2-1) against the Yankees this season.

Phelps will also be looking for a 2-1 record over the Sox as he replaces the struggling Ivan Nova – not what the Yankees need heading into play this weekend.

Over the next two games, Curtis Granderson (40) needs one homerun to tie last season’s output and two for a career best.

Take: NEW YORK — everybody wants the race with Baltimore to go down to game 162 but the Yankees will spoil with a win tonight, before reorganizing the rotation.


Baltimore Orioles @ Tampa Bay Rays

(7:10 PM ET)

Pitching matchup: Miguel Gonzalez (8-4, 3.45 ERA) Vs. James Shields (15-9, 3.62 ERA)

With Tampa Bay (89-71, 45-34 home) eliminated from the postseason race on Sunday, last night’s 5-3 win over Baltimore (92-68, 45-34 road) did nothing but hand the Yankees a lead in the AL East.

Baltimore now needs to win to avoid playing the one-game playoff against Oakland/Texas on Friday. With ‘Big Game James’ on the mound it doesn’t look good for the Orioles, who counter with Miguel Gonzalez.

That being said, Baltimore has made a habit of winning in the unlikeliest of circumstances this season and Tuesday looks like another chance for fans to ‘Buck-le Up’.

Take: BALTIMORE — the Yankees may well take the AL East but a win is important if the Orioles are to host the Wild Card game on Friday. A loss would mean a long trip out west.


Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics

(10:05 PM ET)

Pitching matchup: Matt Harrison (18-10, 3.26 ERA) Vs. Travis Blackley (5-4, 4.25 ERA)

They’ve threatened it for months but it now looks like Oakland (92-68, 48-31 home) could actually snatch the AL West crown from Texas (93-67, 43-36 road).

Last night’s 4-3 win over the Rangers put the A’s just one game back with two to play. Texas didn’t expect to be playing back-against-the-wall baseball this late in the season but it’s been a funny old year.

Matt Harrison’s uneven season has still spawned an impressive 18 wins, but the A’s will know that they can get at him. Blackley got beat up last time out against the Yankees so he has the potential to either lockdown and take charge, or mentally slip a step and blow this one. Trying to pick between these two is an absolute crap shoot.

Take: OAKLAND –This one deserves to go down to the last day of the season, not least because seeing two competitors face each other on the final day is about as perfect as it gets. Texas, by the skin of their teeth, will get out with the division though.


Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals

(8:15 PM ET)

Pitching matchup: Mat Latos (13-4, 3.52 ERA) Vs. Chris Carpenter (0-1, 3.27 ERA)

St. Louis (87-73, 49-30 home) has had command of the second Wild Card spot since mid-August. Just one win puts the Cardinals back in the postseason with a chance to repeat.

You’d forgive Cincinnati (96-64, 46-33 road) for resting up and getting ready for Sunday’s NLDS opener with San Francisco. That’s not going to happen though. The Reds want homefield advantage throughout and to do so they must better Washington’s record over two games.

Chris Carpenter will take the mound in his third start, having been injured most of the season. It’s a bold move putting a ‘cold’ pitcher out there, and it will be a decision that could decide the Cards’ fate.

Take: CINCINNATI — Mat Latos and Co. will want to finish strong and will be too much for St. Louis tonight. St. Louis needn’t worry though…


San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers

(10:10 PM ET)

Pitching matchup: Barry Zito (14-8, 4.19 ERA) Vs. Chris Capuano (12-11, 3.69 ERA)

By hook or by crook, the Dodgers (85-75, 44-35 home) have somehow managed to stay in the postseason hunt until the very end. Granted, there was a time where it looked like this series would decide the division, but L.A. will take an in any way they can get it.

San Francisco (93-67 45-34 road) meanwhile has nothing to play for. The Giants know they’ll be visiting Washington or Cincinnati on Saturday, and that’s all they need to know. However…

You don’t think the Giants would revel in eliminating the Dodgers from contention? Of course they would. That’s what rivalries are all about. And with Barry Zito on the mound, that’s what’s likely to happen.

Take:  SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles’ six-game win streak comes to an end with bitter consequences, made worse that the Giants are postseason bound.