With the MLB playoffs set to begin Friday, we’ve decided to skip past all the hoopla and the drama of the best-of-three wild-card series. The wild-card games are a blast – and we have all the series prices and odds – but only one team gets to hoist the World Series trophy.
To make betting on World Series odds worth it, a club needs two important aspects: underrated talent (duh!) and great value. This season, the St. Louis Cardinals are our favorite long-shot pick.
Bodog lists the Cardinals’ World Series chances at +1600. That’s just too good to pass up.
Before we dive any deeper, be sure to check out our MLB Betting News home page, which includes MLB playoff series odds, MVP odds and World Series odds. There is also our MLB betting sites page, where you’ll find all the lines and props you need to make your October baseball betting experience as smooth as possible.
Cardinals World Series: The Roster
Let’s start with starting pitching, which is crucial to postseason success. The Cardinals’ sore spot in the playoffs might be their lack of elite starting pitching, but we’re not concerned. Oftentimes, elite pitchers crumble in the playoffs. Postseason stats speak for themselves, and St. Louis has one of the best to ever do it.
Adam Wainwright, the 40-year-old lifelong Cardinal, has an immaculate 2.83 ERA in 114.1 playoff innings. The right-hander is currently +15000 in the World Series MVP odds – which likely won’t happen – but he’ll play a big role as the Cards’ second or third starter behind Jose Quintana, who’s starting Game 1 of the wild-card series.
St. Louis’ biggest strength comes from its position player core. Veterans like Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina are great to have, but the Cardinals will get far more utility from the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman. Edman brings elite speed (32-for-35 in steals in 2022), while “Goldy” and “Nado” possess an elite combo of offense and defense.
On the back end, St. Louis has a closer it can ride all the way to the World Series. Fireballer Ryan Helsley has been nearly unstoppable this year, dicing hitters to the tune of a 1.25 ERA in 64.2 innings. He’s a beast who can handle a heavy playoff workload.
Cardinals World Series: The Route To The Finals
The Cardinals are currently -150 to win their three-game series vs the Phillies. That should be a thrilling series. Philly will have a pitching edge with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, but St. Louis owns a dramatically better defense, which gives them a crucial leg up during late high-leverage situations.
In the playoffs – and especially a short best-of-three – defense wins out. St. Louis has the fourth-best defense in baseball per defensive runs saved (70), while the Phils are 25th at -34.
Beyond Philadelphia, the Cardinals dodged a bullet. If they win the National League wild-card round, they’ll face the Braves instead of the Dodgers (who are the +300 chalk to win the World Series). Atlanta is a loaded team, especially on offense, but the Cards have a better playoff rotation. If St. Louis can just find a way to outdo Philly, then sneak into the NLCS, you’ll have wished you grabbed the +1600 value.
Cardinals World Series MVP Bets
Of course, the Cards’ trip to the World Series would involve more than just solid players and good defense. Someone on their roster will need to snap and have a playoff performance for the ages. That’s why we wanted to touch on some prospective Cardinals World Series MVP candidates.
We touched on Wainwright as a possible Hail Mary World Series MVP bet, but 11 of the last 13 award winners have been position players, so that’s where we’ll direct our focus.
Right now, Arenado and Goldschmidt are near the top of the oddsboard at +2500 each. That’s really solid value if you’re all-in on the Cards to win the World Series. Goldschmidt, the likely NL MVP, has an especially good case, as he’s cranked his way to a .975 OPS with eight homers in 21 career playoff games.
Other long-shot World Series MVP options include Albert Pujols at +15000 – we don’t hate that – and Jordan Montgomery (+17500) and Miles Mikolas (+25000).
Cardinals World Series History
|2013||Boston Red Sox||Red Sox (4-2)||DH David Ortiz|
|2011||Texas Rangers||Cardinals (4-3)||3B David Freese|
|2006||Detroit Tigers||Cardinals (4-1)||SS David Eckstein|
|2004||Boston Red Sox||Red Sox (4-0)||OF Manny Ramirez|
|1987||Minnesota Twins||Twins (4-3)||SP Frank Viola|