At long last, we’ve reached the MLB playoffs.
Pro baseball is one giant grind through 162 games. Thankfully, for both players and fans, the MLB playoff picture has taken shape as all 12 postseason spots are locked and loaded.
There are few things quite as captivating as October baseball. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the MLB playoff picture by diving into our odds and picks for each wild-card series.
But first, if you haven’t done so already, remember to check out our MLB futures, MLB win totals, odds to make the playoffs and more over at our MLB hub. If you’re new to betting on baseball, check out our How To Bet On Baseball page for some helpful tips and info.
National League Playoff Picture
All our MLB playoff picture odds come courtesy of our friends at Bodog.
The Atlanta Braves (101-60) and Los Angeles Dodgers (110-51) have clinched the two NL byes that exclude them from the wild-card round. The Braves will play the winner of the Cardinals-Phillies series, while LA gets the winner of the Mets-Padres showdown.
NL Wild Card: Odds To Win The Series
Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals Odds & Picks
|St. Louis Cardinals||-140|
The Phils ended their postseason drought by clinching their first playoff berth in 11 years. And while their roster has lots of obvious holes (defense, relief pitching), their lineup is exquisite. Despite missing a chunk of games, Bryce Harper had a fantastic year, while Kyle Schwarber clubbed an NL-leading 46 long balls.
With Philadelphia’s mighty offense in mind, look for Harper and Schwarber to hit the OVER on total bases during the series. Both guys have had postseason success and should match up well vs Cardinals pitching.
On the Cards’ side, expect Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright to take the hill during this potential three-game series. Wainwright is a veteran, joining Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina on one of the most experienced rosters in baseball, so he won’t be bothered by the pressure.
Mikolas, on the other hand, is less experienced but still has two postseason starts under his belt. He’s only allowed two runs in 12 playoff innings and has held left-handed hitters to a .605 OPS this year, meaning he’ll be tougher on Schwarber and Harper.
The Cardinals are also an excellent value pick in the odds to win the World Series at +1600.
Pick: Cardinals (-140)
New York Mets vs San Diego Padres Odds & Picks
|New York Mets||-170|
|San Diego Padres||+140|
The Padres held on to a wild-card spot, avoiding a repeat of last season’s disastrous collapse. And their reward for such hard work? A brutally challenging best-of-three series vs the Mets, who fumbled their second-last series of the year and lost their first-round bye.
The key to this matchup will be pitching. The Mets are such a feared playoff team because of their dominant starting rotation that will easily overmatch San Diego’s in a three-game setup. Expect the series to look something like this:
That is just a deadly top two for New York, and nobody – other than Juan Soto – has had success vs deGrom in the past. Even Soto is just 3-for-15 with a home run. I’d watch for Soto and his .927 career playoff OPS to impact the series, just not to the point where the Friars pull off the upset.
Pick: Mets (-170)
American League Playoff Picture
The Houston Astros (105-56) and New York Yankees (99-62) will get the two byes out of the AL. Houston plays the winner of the Blue Jays-Mariners series, while New York gets the victor in the Rays-Guardians matchup.
AL Wild Card: Odds To Win The Series
Toronto Blue Jays vs Seattle Mariners Odds & Picks
|Toronto Blue Jays||-180|
This is a very even series, even though the sportsbooks have the odds leaning in Toronto’s direction. Home-field advantage is certainly a factor in that value, as the thunderous crowd at Rogers Centre is expected to give the Jays an intangible edge.
Even though Seattle won the season series vs the Blue Jays, the Mariners lost two of three games at Rogers Centre this year. That would seem to play in Toronto’s favor, but that series win in May came without two important pieces on Seattle’s end.
Luis Castillo, acquired at the trade deadline, and Robbie Ray, who couldn’t enter Canada at the time because he wasn’t vaccinated, are expected to be the Mariners’ first two starters in this wild-card series.
Thanks to Alek Manoah’s ferocity on the mound, I imagine Toronto will capture Game 1. After that, though, it gets dicey, and Seattle should pull out a three-game series win on the road. There’s nice value on the M’s at +150.
Pick: Mariners (+150)
Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Guardians Odds & Pick
|Tampa Bay Rays||EVEN|
Even as Tampa Bay limps into the playoffs, it’s hard not to throw money the Rays’ way at EVEN odds.
The Guardians are very hot right now, having essentially stolen the AL Central race with a series of win streaks over the final month of the season. Cleveland plays excellent defense and it has a superstar in Jose Ramirez and several top-notch pitchers in Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill.
But we see an edge for Tampa on offense and out of the bullpen. The Rays have a good order that has playoff experience and does a good job getting on base, plus they have one of the craftiest bullpens in the majors. Ace starter Tyler Glasnow has also returned from injury and will factor into the series as a reliever or a starter.
Pick: Rays (EVEN)
Who is playing in the AL wild card series?
The Toronto Blue Jays will play the Seattle Mariners in the 2022 AL wild-card series. Toronto is hosting all three games.
The Cleveland Guardians will also play the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL wild card. Cleveland is hosting all three games.
Who is playing in the NL wild card series?
The Philadelphia Phillies will play the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2022 NL wild-card series. St. Louis is hosting all three games.
The New York Mets will also play the San Diego Padres for the NL wild card. New York is hosting all three games.