The AL wild-card race might be the most interesting playoff chase in MLB right now. This weekend we've got two contending clubs — the Blue Jays and the Rangers — facing off for a pivotal four-game series.
If Texas wins the series, it puts Toronto in deep trouble. A Jays sweep, however, could crush the Rangers' playoff hopes.
Here's everything you need to know about how to bet this Jays-Rangers series starting Monday.
Blue Jays vs Rangers Series Price
|Toronto Blue Jays||-145|
This line is fairly placed, especially when you consider the series' starting pitchers.
There are a few mismatches — particularly Ryu vs Scherzer Tuesday — but, at large, these two clubs enter this series with vastly different momentum. Thanks to a weak stretch in their schedule, the Blue Jays are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games. Texas, on the other hand, is 8-17 SU in its last 25 contests.
The numbers paint an accurate picture, and my eyes reinforce the narrative. The Jays are playing better ball right now, so I'll take them to win the series at -145.
Pick: Blue Jays to win series (-145)
What's At Stake In this series?
As I said, each club's season could be on the line in this series.
|Teams||Playoff Odds||Playoff Percentage|
|Toronto Blue Jays||-450 (Y) / +325 (N)||79.5%|
|Texas Rangers||-130 (Y) / +100 (N)||51.5%|
Percentage, per Fangraphs
Over the last week, the Blue Jays' playoff odds have swung from in the 50% range to the upper 70s, per Fangraphs. That checks out, too, as our odds calculator matches the -450 odds with an 81.82% implied probability.
That said, now would be a great time to fade the Jays at +325, if you're keen on that sort of thing. If you're confident in Toronto holding on, then I'd bet Texas to miss the playoffs at +100.
When MLB expanded from 10 to 12 playoff teams last year, it eliminated the Game 163 tiebreaker (a tragic development, really). Now, playoff tiebreakers are determined by head-to-head record.
Before Monday night, Texas had a 2-1 lead over Toronto. That means a split in this upcoming four-game series maintains the Rangers' tiebreaker edge. A three-game win by Toronto, however, gives them that crucial tiebreak advantage.
Props To Watch
Here are three prop markets you should consider.
Vladimir Guerrero jr. Total Bases OVERs
Guerrero's season has been horrible for OVER bettors, as the 24-year-old has cashed the OVER 1.5 total bases prop in just 45% of matchups. But he digs deep when his club faces Texas, and I'm counting on a big series from the Blue Jays slugger.
Since 2021, Guerrero is slashing .345/.419/.618 vs the Rangers with three doubles and four homers. He's also cashed the OVER 1.5 bases in six of nine games vs Texas this season. His line Monday shows the UNDER 1.5 favored at -135, priming us for a solid underdog bet on the OVER.
Corey Seager Batting OVERs
Seager has been the Rangers' best hitter all season, so it's no surprise he's the most automatic OVER bet. Seager's OVER 1.5 total bases mark has hit at a remarkable 60% clip over the last 30 games.
Beyond that, though, betting on Seager to homer (+350 on Monday) is also a wise wager. The shortstop has homered 12 times in his last 30 games, making him quite profitable on that prop.
Max Scherzer Runs + Hits UNDERs
While Scherzer owns a 3.63 ERA since joining the Rangers, that number is deceiving. A few bad outings have skewed an otherwise great sample size of starts, where he's very stingy on hits and homers.
In Scherzer's seven starts with Texas, opposing hitters are slashing just .175/.253/.315. Toronto's offense has run hot and cold, so I'll be counting on the right-hander blanking the Blue Jays on Tuesday.