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MLB Playoffs Betting Picks (9/29)

With the MLB playoffs finally starting up today, here are my two picks of the day.

Yankees ML (-115) over the Indians:

The question mark remains with this Yankees is which team will show up? The most inconsistent team in baseball has the potential to be a World Series Contender on their best day, but on their worst day struggle brutally with RISP and pitching mistakes. I predict today will be one of those games where the Yankees are able to break out of their slump and win over a very good Bieber and Indians roster.

LOCK : Rays -1.5 (+105) over Blue Jays

I feel as if Vegas is not factoring in enough how good Blake Snell has been this year posting a 3.24 ERA with 63 strikeouts. Whereas Toronto is starting Matt Shoemaker, who has been brutally bad for Toronto this year with a 4.71 ERA and not even having a W under his belt. Rays by a billion, hammer the spread and thank me later.

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MLB AL Playoff Preview

Good afternoon people, my name is Mike Centonza, newest member of The Vig. Really excited to join Bill and J’s squad, and to give my take and insight into the sports and gambling world.

This week is an action packed sports week with the MLB playoffs starting up this afternoon and I’m here to breakdown the American League playoff picture. A shortened 60-game regular season sprint was actually pretty fun to watch, but now things start to heat up and we’ll see what teams are frauds and what teams are legit. Definitely a different type of playoff format this year but then again it is 2020, so we’re definitely familiar with weirdness and different formats. Personally, I like this new first-round playoff best-of-3 and expanded playoff format. It gave teams that were usually on the outside looking in, a chance to make the playoffs and take the next step. Below I’ll be giving my insight into each matchup and will be listing each teams odds to win their respective series. So let’s get into it!

#6 Houston Astros (+170) vs #5 Minnesota Twins (-190)

As everyone knows, the Astros were clearly America’s most hated team in 2020, and that’s understandable since they pretty much cheated en route to their 2017 World Series Title. No matter how much you may hate them though, they’re still a pretty good ball club up and down the lineup. I know their record doesn’t really show that at 29-31, but that’s in large part due to their horrendous bullpen and losing Justin Verlander for the year. This team has the most experience of almost any other team in the American League, and if their bats get hot in this series, I can easily see them pulling two wins out to advance to the next round. Their 29-31 record is essentially irrelevant now since playoff baseball is underway. Id say if they can win Game 1 with Greinke on the bump, they have a decent shot to advance.

The Minnesota Twins had an awesome 2020 season. Coming off playoff appearances in 2017 and 2019, they have a sneaky good lineup. Their problem has always been pitching, and in the past years Jose Berrios was really their only solid arm. Now with Kenta Maeda, who had a Cy Young like season, and the solid veteran Rich Hill, they look more like a complete ball club. If Polanco, Cruz, and Rosario, can carry the offense, their pitching should be enough to keep the Astros at bay, whose offensive numbers are down from years past.

#8 Toronto Blue Jays (+185) vs #1 Tampa Bay Rays (-225)

This first round matchup might be a sneaky good one. Obviously, you would say the #1 seed is a no-brainer to advance but Toronto can hit and they got a pretty damn good pitcher in Hyun-Jin Ryu. No one expected the Blue Jays to take the next step this season, they might have been a year or two away but it looks like they are ahead of schedule. The crazy part is Vlad Jr. didn’t really have the type of year that everyone expected him to have, and they’re still in the position they are in right now. If they can get a win in game one with shoemaker pitching, I think that will put the rays in an uncomfortable position with Ryu going game two and their backs against the walls.

The problem for Toronto is that Tampa has pretty good pitchers themselves, starters and one of the best bullpens in the league. Even with a lineup without a clear cut superstar, they still clinched the 1 seed due to their defense and pitching. Even if Snell wins game one and they lose game two to Ryu, I think Tampa has the advantage in game three with Morton on the mound, who’s a very good pitcher.

#7 Chicago White Sox( -105) vs #2 Oakland Athletics (-115)

Another great series, I mean we are truly blessed with four awesome matchup’s in the first round. This series is very interesting, plain and simple. I see this series coming down to pitching and defense for Oakland vs the offense of the Sox. Both teams had remarkable seasons, but yet both got cold towards the end of the season. Matt Chapman going down for the season really hurts the A’s and the Sox almost had a chance to win the AL Central but came up just short. The A’s have a solid starting rotation with Bassit, Luzardo, Manea, Feirs, Montas, and arguably the best closer in baseball in Liam Hendricks. Matt Olsen plays a gold glove first base and will need to hit well in this series to produce runs for this offense.

I look at the White Sox lineup and its stacked with talent and power. Almost every guy in the lineup has the ability to break games open with dingers. I would not want to face Anderson, Moncada, Grandal, Abreu, Jiminez, Robert and Encarnacion any day of the week. Of course their lineup is what made them make their first post season appearance since 2008, but the emergence of Giolito and the signing of Keuchel helped them a lot in holding their opponents to low scoring affairs. This might be the most evenly matched first round matchup and can easily go three games.

#4 New York Yankees (-110) vs #5 Cleveland Indians(-110)

Finally, the last matchup in the AL is between two clubs who have a lot of playoff experience, going against each other in 2017 in the ALDS. Game 1 will be phenomenal to watch two aces go head-to-head in Gerrit Cole for the Yankees and Shane Bieber, who will probably win the AL Cy Young award, for the Indians. It’s amazing how the Indians continue to produce these stud pitchers in their organization. I feel like every time they trade one away, another guy comes up and takes his place. The tribe will be going with Bieber, Carrasco and Plesac for all three games if the series goes the distance. Not only is their rotation good, but their bats started to get hot the last couple weeks of September. The team that’s always the scariest in October in my opinion, is the team that ends the regular season on a tear. Jose Ramirez had a crazy September, but they’re also going to need Lindor to step up and follow in Ramirez’s footsteps, if they want to win this series.

Once again, the Yankees were struck by the injury bug, but were still able to find ways to get hot towards the end of the season. Guys like Luke Voit, stepped up when Judge and Stanton went down. Their depth is a key reason why they’re still a dangerous lineup even though they still went through struggles in 2020. We know Cole will shove it game one, but can Tanaka or Happ step up in game’s two or three if need be? I think Yankees will have their work cut out for them in game 1 but if they can get to Carrasco and Plesac I think they’ll win the series. They’re going to need batting title champ DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres to both get hot at the same time, which is very possible.

Enjoy these awesome playoff games today, I’ll be back tomorrow morning to breakdown and preview the National League matchups.