Best Series Winner Bets for the 2023 MLB Wild Card Round
The MLB Wild Card series gets underway on Tuesday evening. While the Astros, Dodgers, Braves and Orioles have the luxury of a bye to the Division Series, the eight Wild Card teams must battle it out in these highly anticipated three-game sets.
The home advantage teams – Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Minnesota – are all favoured by the bookies ahead of Tuesday’s Game Ones. What are the best series bets?
Milwaukee Brewers to beat Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 – 13/5 (Unibet)
Arizona spluttered at the end of the regular season, scoring three runs over their last four games. As a result, the Diamondbacks are the sixth seed in the National League, which means a matchup with the National League Central winners.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 1, 2023
The Brewers won 92 regular season games, again led by a stellar rotation and shutdown bullpen. Their offence only posted a 92 wRC+, and they went 2-4 against the Diamondbacks in the regular year.
Still, Milwaukee is rightly favoured on most baseball betting sites with Corbin Burnes starting Game One. Zac Gallen should be able to get the Dbacks a win on Wednesday, but we expect this Brewers staff to shut down a weak Diamondbacks line up in Game Three.
Philadelphia Phillies to beat Miami Marlins 2-0 – 17/10 (Bet365)
Despite going 6-7 against the Miami Marlins in the regular season, the Philadelphia Phillies are heavy favourites for their Wild Card meeting. Philly has homefield advantage, and sends Cy Young candidate Zack Wheeler to the mound on Tuesday.
Miami went just 31-38 in the second half. Their offence ranked 24th by wRC+ after the break, and their bullpen was hit-and-miss all season.
Philadelphia own the seventh-best wRC+ since All-Star – this line up should be able to put up enough runs against Jesus Luzardo and Braxton Garrett to secure a two-game sweep, setting up a Division Series with the Atlanta Braves.
Toronto Blue Jays to win series against Minnesota Twins – 21/20 (Betfred)
The best MLB bookies predict this to be the closest matchup of the Wild Card round. Toronto ended up as the sixth seed after losing four of their last six games, but the Blue Jays are a high-ceiling team and have arguably the best rotation in these Playoffs.
Minnesota’s front-end arms aren’t bad either with Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray and Pablo Lopez projected to take the ball if this goes three games. Their offence notched a 124 wRC+ in the second half of the season, though there is a risk they are without Royce Lewis and Byron Buxton for this series.
The Jays will be pleased they have avoided facing the Orioles or Rays. Toronto went just 21-31 against American League East opposition, and 68-42 against everyone else. With Kevin Gausman followed by Jose Berrios and Chris Bassitt, Toronto deserves to be favourites on the road. They’re superb value at this price.
Texas Rangers to win series against Tampa Bay Rays – 7/5 (Unibet)
The Rangers had a tumultuous second half, but they did just enough down the stretch to secure a first Playoff appearance since 2016.
Bruce Bochy is a master of a Playoff management, and he faces up against a Rays team which has gone 1-5 over the last two postseasons.
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2023
Tampa Bay is a long way from full strength with Brandon Lowe, Drew Rasmussen and Shane McClanahan among the players sidelined.
While it’s hard to feel too confident about the Rangers, and their bullpen is undeniably a concern, their line up might just have too much for these Rays. Only the Braves and Dodgers scored more runs.
Texas’ pitching might prevent them going on a deep run, but their firepower makes them a good price to beat the depleted Rays.