Major League Baseball Playoffs Rounding Out


Major League Baseball Playoffs Rounding Out


The Major League Baseball regular season is winding down quickly, and there are some important games still remaining on the schedule. The MLB season is entering its final weekend of regular season play, and there are still playoff spots up for grabs.

This is one of the most popular times of the year for bettors who love the sport of baseball, and the Baseball section is ripe with available wagers to keep all fans excited and interested.

Let's take a look at where things stand now, and preview some of the exciting playoff action to come in October.

Where We Stand Now

Entering the final weekend of the MLB regular season, the American League division leaders are all set. The New York Yankees have clinched the AL East, the Minnesota Twins have clinched the AL Central, and the Houston Astros have clinched the AL West.

The two Wild Card playoff spots are still up for grabs in the American League. With three games left to play, the Oakland Athletics hold a one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the top Wild Card spot. The Cleveland Indians are still clinging to life in the Wild Card race, but they are two games behind Tampa with only three games to play.

Over in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West division long ago, and the Atlanta Braves have clinched the NL East division title.

The Washington Nationals have claimed one of the Wild Card spots in the National League, and both the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers have clinched spots in the playoffs. All that's left to determine is whether the Cardinals or Brewers will end up winning the NL Central title, and which of the two will have to settle for a Wild Card spot.

How the MLB playoffs work

The MLB playoffs consist of three rounds of league-specific playoffs followed by the World Series, which is played between the winner of the National League and American League.

The first round is the Wild Card round, to be played between the two Wild Card teams in each league. The Nationals will face off against either the Brewers or Cardinals on Tuesday, October 1. The American League Wild Card game will then be played the next night, with two of the Rays, Athletics and Indians playing.

The winners of the Wild Card games will play the best division winner from each league. In the National League, the Wild Card winner will play the Dodgers. The American League Wild Card game winner will play either the Astros or the Yankees -- whichever team finished the regular season with a better record.

The other two division winners will play each other, and all four series of the Division Series will be a best-of-five series. The winners of the Division Series will play each other in a best-of-seven League Championship Series, and then the winners of those will face each other in the World Series, which is also a best-of-seven series.

Betting Odds for MLB Playoffs

Betting action is always exciting and fierce in the MLB Playoffs. Before the season even begins, many sportsbooks will list odds to win the American League Pennant, National League Pennant and World Series. There are obviously plenty of other futures bets, such as what team will win each division and how many total wins each team will have in the regular season.

When the playoffs draw near, the most popular future bets are who will win each league's title and who will win the World Series.

Most sportsbooks have very similar odds for each team. Right now, the Astros are the favorites to claim the World Series title with 9-4 odds. The Dodgers are next at 5-2, followed by the Yankees at 7-2.

The Braves are in fourth at 10-1, with the Twins and Cardinals each at 12-1. The longer shots start with the Nationals and Athletics at 25-1 each, with the Brewers and Rays at 40-1 each, and the Indians at 50-1 (if they even make the playoffs.

The same teams hold the top spots to win the AL Pennant, with the Astros at 5-6, the Yankees at 7-4, the Twins at 6-1, the Athletics at 12-1, the Rays at 20-1 and the Indians at 25-1.

In the National League, the Dodgers are again the favorites at 1-2, followed by the Braves at 4-1, the Cardinals at 5-1, the Nationals at 10-1 and the Brewers at 12-1.

The Wild Card teams obviously have longer odds than the division winners for the simple fact that they have to play an additional winner-takes-all single game in the playoffs next week. That gives the division winners an advantage, as they get a few days of extra rest and get to skip an entire round of the playoffs.

The MLB playoff season is sure to get hot as the weather begins to cool in October.