MLB Division Series Betting Breakdown

After Wild Card series byes, the top two seeds from each league are ready to start their postseason. The MLB playoffs flip to a familiar format Tuesday, Oct. 11 when all four Division Series begin.

MLB.com

It’s a 2-2-1 layout with the higher seed hosting the first two games followed by two games at the lower seed’s home with the elimination game played at the higher seed’s ballpark.

My Wild Card series bets went 2-0 while backing the biggest underdogs: San Diego Padres (+145) and Seattle Mariners (+140). Below, I’ll run through the four Division Series with one best bet. Forewarning, there are going to be chalky pennant matchups.

National League Division Series

No. 6 Philadelphia Phillies vs. No. 2 Atlanta Braves

MLB.com

Series Price (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Phillies (+155)
  • Braves (-185)

Series Games Handicap

  • Phillies +1.5 (-165)
  • Braves -1.5 (+140)

2022 Head-to-Head Record

The Braves lead 11-8 with a +3 run differential (88-85).

Starters

  • Phillies
    • RHP Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA)
    • RHP Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA)
    • LHP Ranger Suarez (10-7, 3.65 ERA)
  • Braves
    • LHP Max Fried (14-7, 2.48 ERA)
    • RHP Kyle Wright (21-5, 3.19 ERA)
    • RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.34 ERA)
    • RHP Spencer Strider (11-5, 2.67 ERA)**
      • Coming off 15-Day IL for an oblique injury.

WAR (MLB Rank) per FanGraphs

  • Pitching
    • Phillies: 19.3 (8th)
    • Braves: 20.3 (5th)
  • Lineup
    • Phillies: 22.7 (4th)
    • Braves: 22.8 (3rd)

Handicap

The Phillies have played the Braves tough this season and their top two starters could win one or both of their games. But, Philly doesn’t have a reliable starter aside from Nola and Wheeler nor any recent postseason success.

Also, there are no leaks in Atlanta’s roster and the Braves are my highest power-ranked team entering the divisional round. This Atlanta team is better than last year’s World Series winner. That said, Atlanta’s series games handicap would need to be +150 or better to have enough value.

PICK: Braves with no official bet

No. 5 San Diego Padres vs. No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB.com

Series Price (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Padres (+175)
  • Dodgers (-210)

Series Games Handicap

  • Padres +1.5 (-150)
  • Dodgers -1.5 (+130)

2022 Head-to-Head Record

The Dodgers lead 14-5 with a +62 run differential (109-47).

Starters

  • Padres
    • RHP Yu Darvish (16-8, 3.10 ERA)
    • LHP Blake Snell (8-10, 3.38 ERA)
    • RHP Joe Musgrove (10-7, 2.93 ERA)
    • RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 4.33 ERA)
  • Dodgers
    • LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 2.28 ERA)
    • LHP Julio Urias (17-7, 2.16 ERA)
    • LHP Tyler Anderson (15-5, 2.57 ERA)
    • RHP Tony Gonsolin (16-1, 2.14 ERA)

WAR (MLB Rank) per FanGraphs

  • Pitching
    • Padres: 19.4 (8th)
    • Dodgers: 24.6 (2nd)
  • Lineup
    • Padres: 21.4 (12th)
    • Dodgers: 38.9 (1st)

Handicap

I’d love to go with the Padres to get another upset since they were my pick to win the World Series at the beginning of the season. But, the Dodgers own them epically.

L.A. more than doubled San Diego in runs scored this season and has a decisive 3-phase edge in starting and relief pitching and hitting.

The Padres’ top three starters give them a chance to take this series the distance with the Dodgers. Yet San Diego’s series games handicap price of -150 is far too expensive.

It might be worth taking a shot on the Padres when they face Anderson or if this series gets to a Game 5 and Kershaw is starting.

San Diego is 2-2 vs. L.A. when Anderson starts this season and Kershaw has been known to come up short in the playoffs throughout his career.

PICK: Dodgers with no official bet

American League Division Series

No. 5 Seattle Mariners vs. No. 1 Houston Astros

MLB.com

Series Price (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Mariners (+185)
  • Astros (-220)

Series Games Handicap

  • Mariners +1.5 (-135)
  • Astros -1.5 (+115)

2022 Head-to-Head Record

The Astros lead 12-7 with a +8 run differential (73-65).

Starters

  • Mariners
    • RHP Luis Castillo (4-2, 3.17 ERA)
    • LHP Robbie Ray (12-12, 3.71 ERA)
    • RHP Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.20 ERA)
    • RHP George Kirby (8-5, 3.39 ERA)
  • Astros
    • RHP Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA)
    • LHP Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA)
    • RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (4-2, 2.27 ERA)
    • RHP Cristian Javier (11-9, 2.54 ERA)

WAR (MLB Rank) per FanGraphs

  • Pitching
    • Mariners: 13.8 (16th)
    • Astros: 27.0 (1st)
  • Lineup
    • Mariners: 23.0 (9th)
    • Astros: 29.5 (6th)

Handicap

The Mariners are a year or two away from winning this series. Seattle has a few cornerstone everyday players and a top-three starting rotation in the AL. The Mariners’ adding, and extending, Castillo at the trade deadline further bolstered their pitching staff.

The Astros are rightfully the favorite to make a third World Series in the last five seasons and their fifth consecutive championship series. Houston’s pitching staff is the best in baseball and the Astros’ hitting has obviously been there and done that.

There’s a feistiness about Seattle that I like but Houston’s pitching is just too good to fade.

PICK: “Lean” Mariners +1.5 (-135) series games handicap with no official bet

No. 4 Cleveland Guardians vs. No. 2 New York Yankees

MLB.com

Series Price (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Guardians (+145)
  • Yankees (-175)

Series Games Handicap

  • Guardians +1.5 (-140)
  • Yankees -1.5 (+120)

2022 Head-to-Head Record

The Yankees lead 5-1 with a +24 run differential (38-14).

Starters

  • Guardians
    • RHP Shane Bieber (13-8, 2.88 ERA)
    • RHP Triston McKenzie (11-11, 2.96 ERA)
    • RHP Cal Quantrill (15-5, 3.38 ERA)
  • Yankees
    • RHP Gerrit Cole (13-8, 3.50 ERA)
    • LHP Nestor Cortes (12-4, 2.44 ERA)
    • RHP Luis Severino (7-3, 3.18 ERA)
    • RHP Jameson Taillon (14-5, 3.91 ERA)

WAR (MLB Rank) per FanGraphs

  • Pitching
    • Guardians: 18.6 (9th)
    • Yankees: 19.6 (7th)
  • Lineup
    • Guardians: 21.7 (10th)
    • Yankees: 35.1 (2nd)

Handicap

N.Y. dominated Cleveland during the regular season and the Guardians have by far the weakest lineup remaining in the playoffs. There’s a massive gap in hitting that favors N.Y.

In fact, the distance between the Yankees’ batting WAR and the Guardians’ is the same between Cleveland’s and the 24th-best hitting WAR in MLB. Aside from superstar Cleveland 3B Jose Ramirez, who are the Yankees afraid of?

Furthermore, Cole’s struggles with the long ball make him a little undervalued. While Cole led the AL in home runs allowed, he also led MLB in strikeouts. Cole is 4-1 vs. the Guardians since joining the Yankees and 2-0 this season.

Starting Cortes in between Cole and Severino is the perfect change of pace. Cole and Severino are power pitchers whose fastballs top out at 100 mph. Cortes likes to keep hitters off balance with different throwing angles and pitching wind-ups. Also, Cleveland can’t hit left-handed pitching.

BET: YANKEES -1.5 (+120) series games handicap

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Oct. 10 at 1:30 p.m. ET

FOLLOW GEOFF ON TWITTER: @Geoffery_Clark

Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.


PointsBet Sportsbook users can make their first bets risk-free up to $2,000. If the bet loses, PointsBet will refund you in site credit. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.

First-time DraftKings users can get up to a $1,000 deposit bonus and receive a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000 when they sign up. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.

Written by Geoff Clark

Leave a Reply