We have our best value picks for the National League and American League Wild Card games, including the Red Sox vs Yankees on Tuesday and Cardinals vs Dodgers on Wednesday.
Bookmakers offer value odds throughout the Major League Baseball season, and both Wild Card games provide punters with excellent value.
MLB Wild Card Betting Picks
New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park
The Yankees and Red Sox ended the regular season with identical records. There was nothing between them, but the Red Sox gets home field advantage for Wednesday’s do-or-die game.
Boston enters the Wild Card riding a three-game winning streak, and it was a clutch winning streak. It held off the Toronto Blue Jays by just one game, the 7-5 win over Washington on Monday was vital.
The same goes for New York, which had to beat Tampa Bay to make the Wild Card game. The 1-0 win was all it needed to progress, and the Yankees now get Gerrit Cole pitching for the big game.
Cole has had another fine season for the Yankees, going 16-8 with an ERA of 3.23. However, he comes off a disappointing effort against Toronto when allowing nine hits from six innings, in a 6-5 team loss. It wasn’t a good outing, but Cole is a classy pitcher when he’s on his game.
He also allowed 10 hits from 5.2 innings against Cleveland three starts ago, so he will need to improve on that to give the Yankees a chance.
Opposing him on the mound is Nathan Eovaldi, who went 11-9. He had a 6-4 record at home, and four of his last five games resulted in victories for Boston.
Bookmakers have the Yankees at $1.81 to win, but we have some concerns. Cole hasn’t been pitching in career-best form, and the Yankees have scored only six runs from their last three games. The Yankees can go through poor hitting stretches, and they could be in the middle of one.
Boston has scored 16 runs in its last three games, and with home field advantage, we’re happy to take the $2.04 available.
There is nothing better than the Yankees vs Red Sox rivalry, so we’re expecting plenty of big moments.
Bet: Boston Red Sox @ $2.04
St. Louis Cardinals vs Los Angeles Dodgers @ Dodger Stadium
The Los Angeles Dodgers won 106 games this season, but find themselves in a Wild Card. It’s an unfortunate situation and it highlights the flawed system, but they now need to do business against the red-hot Cardinals.
Despite losing their last two games, the Cardinals have been the hottest team in MLB over the last month. They won 17 consecutive games just to make the Wild Card game, and punters know the Cardinals are tough to beat in the post-season.
They are also 49-34 as an underdog, which looks good in comparison to the Dodgers’ 81-78 record as a favourite. The Dodgers ended the regular season on a winning run, but it wasn’t enough to catch the San Francisco Giants, who won 107 games.
We’re not sure about the mindset of the Dodgers, who will feel pressure of being a 106-win team. It would be a horrible loss to stomach, and we feel as though the Cardinals are playing without pressure.
Max Scherzer looks to give the Dodgers a steady presence on the mound. He had yet another fine season, but he comes up against Adam Wainwright, who has pitched in big games throughout his career.
Punters get $1.43 for the Dodgers to win, which isn’t overly attractive. They deserve to be favourite, but we couldn’t entertain those odds. Instead, we think the Cardinals could keep it close.
Take St. Louis +1.5, which pays a healthy $1.82. It should be a close game between two teams that not only have quality starting pitchers, but a batting lineup that can get hot.
Bet: St. Louis Cardinals +1.5 @ $1.82
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.