After a gruelling 162-game regular season, the MLB playoff field is finally set.
The Toronto Blue Jays have qualified for the playoffs for the third time in the past four seasons, but they’ve been unable to advance past the Wild Card round in their past two attempts.
Toronto Blue Jays to win World Series
This year, the Blue Jays will square off with the Minnesota Twins, who won the American League Central Division, in a three-game series at Target Field. As the No. 6 seed in the AL, Toronto will need to take two of three from the Twins away from home to advance to the AL Division Series against the Houston Astros. This series will get underway on Tuesday afternoon and will conclude on Thursday if a deciding Game 3 is needed. All of Toronto’s games in the mini-series will start at 4:38 p.m. ET this week.
The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays will do battle in the other AL Wild Card Series. In the National League, the Arizona Diamondbacks will battle the Milwaukee Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies will host the Miami Marlins.
Let’s take a look at bet365‘s World Series futures odds and Wild Card Series odds for the 12 teams vying for the Commissioner’s Trophy.
World Series odds
|Team||World Series Odds||To Win League|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+400||+200|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1100||+500|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1500||+700|
The Atlanta Braves have the shortest World Series odds after posting the best record in baseball (104-58) during the regular season. They opened the season around +800 (depending on the sportsbook) to win outright, and now with +260 odds, the Braves are clearly the team to beat after putting on an awesome power display this year. In fact, the Braves tied the single-season home run record with 307 blasts, tying the mark set by the 2019 Minnesota Twins. They also set a major league record with a .501 slugging percentage, topping the .495 mark set by the 2019 Houston Astros. They’re also the first team ever to boast four players — Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson, Marcell Ozuna, and Austin Riley — to each have 35 homers or more in a single season. Infielder Ozzie Albies also swatted 33 homers this season.
Atlanta appears on a collision course with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the second-shortest odds to win it all, in the NL Championship Series. The Dodgers have posted 100 wins or more in three consecutive seasons, making them one of eight teams to ever accomplish the feat. They’ve also now claimed the NL West Division title in 10 of the past 11 seasons.
Unlike the NL, the AL playoff field appears to be wide open. The Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros have the shortest odds to win the World Series and the AL Pennant, but Tampa Bay, Texas, and Toronto are also priced competitively. The Blue Jays have +1500 odds to win the World Series and +700 odds to win the AL crown.
Toronto Blue Jays to win AL pennant
Wild Card Series prices
|Team||To Win Series||Prediction|
|Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins||Blue Jays (+100), Twins (-120)||Blue Jays|
|Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays||Rangers (+135), Rays (-155)||Rays|
|Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers||Diamondbacks (+170), Brewers (-200)||Diamondbacks|
|Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies||Marlins (+170), Phillies (-200)||Phillies|
The Blue Jays are slight underdogs (+100) in their series with the Twins despite posting two more regular-season wins than Minnesota. Runs will be at a premium in this series as both teams boast fantastic pitching staffs that ranked second and third, respectively, in the majors in starting pitcher ERA. Both teams also ranked in the top 10 in Defensive Runs Saved, with the Jays leading the big leagues in that statistical category this year. Injuries could prove to be the difference in this series as the Twins have a few key players nursing injuries, including Carlos Correa (foot), Royce Lewis (hamstring), and Byron Buxton (knee, hamstring). Bettors are getting good value on the Jays here at even money to win the series.
This series had the potential to be fascinating, but both teams are dealing with injuries to key players. The Rays will be without superstar shortstop Wander Franco (administrative leave), and several pitchers, most notably ace Shane McClanahan (forearm). And for the Rangers, Max Scherzer, the team’s prized trade deadline acquisition, is unlikely to see action this October due to a shoulder muscle injury. Both teams boast some big bats, but the Rays have Randy Arozarena, who has built quite a reputation as an incredible big-game performer recently in both the MLB playoffs and the World Baseball Classic. He boasts a .333/.417/.705 slash line with 11 home runs and 17 RBIs in 31 career playoff games, while also being a human highlight reel in the outfield when it matters most. Tampa should have just enough to sneak past the Rangers in this short series at Tropicana Field.
The Brewers have qualified for the postseason in five of the past six years, while the Diamondbacks have squeezed into the playoff picture for the first time since 2017. As the NL Central champs, the Brewers will host the three-game set and they’ve had the opportunity to set up their big three starting pitchers — Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta — for the series. On the other side, the Diamondbacks needed their two best starting pitchers — Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly — during the team’s final regular season series to help the team clinch a playoff berth. That means rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who boasts an ugly 3-9 record with a 5.72 ERA, is likely Arizona’s Game 1 starter, with Gallen and Kelly potentially lining up to pitch the other two games in the series on normal rest. Milwaukee really should win this series on paper, but the scrappy Diamondbacks and their young core might not feel the weight of postseason pressure. In a short series, the D-Backs have a chance to upset a Brewers team that has only won a single playoff round over its last four recent playoff runs.
Hey, the Marlins made the postseason! They’ll just be happy to be playing October baseball for just the second time since winning the World Series as the Florida Marlins back in 2003. Brighter days are ahead for the upstart Marlins, but unfortunately, this year they’ve drawn the juggernaut Phillies in the opening round of the postseason. Bryce Harper and Co. made an improbable run to the Fall Classic last year, and they’ll be hungry to get back on that stage and complete some unfinished business. However, their road to a World Series title will have to go through both Atlanta and Los Angeles.