The playoff race is in full swing in the NL West, and at this point at the beginning of September, it’s still wide open. The Dodgers are duking it out with the Colorado Rockies for first place, but Arizona is just a step behind and the San Francisco Giants though trailing eight games, are not out of it yet. It’s a tight race in both the NL West and NL Central. Let’s check out a guide for the top betting sites before placing some action on the Dodgers for the playoffs.
Chances to Make Playoffs
Both the Brewers and the Cardinals are trying to chase down the Cubs in the NL Central with good records, so second place in the West does not guarantee a wildcard spot. According to the predictive projections based on current positions and remaining schedule, at TeamRankings the Dodgers have a 70.2% chance of making the playoffs.
You might be thinking, only 70%? That doesn’t sound good … But worry not, things are looking good. The Snakes fall to 36.7% with their remaining schedule and the Rockies all the way down to 34.9 percent. The Giants have a hard road towards October. They fall to a measly 0.1% when you factor in all of the schedules.
In the NL Central, the Cubs are a virtual lock with a 99.8% chance of entering the postseason. And the Brew Crew are the most likely of all NL teams to snag the first wildcard spot at 87.2%. But the Cardinals still have plenty of opportunity at 65.0%. If the Cardinals win a couple of games that they shouldn’t, we could see a wildcard role reversal in the Central Division.
The Braves are also a virtual lock in the NL East. The Phillies only trail by 4 games at this moment but drop to just a 20% chance of making it into October and the Nationals fall to just 4.6%.
What the Oddsboards Say
The boys in Las Vegas agree with the percentages above. The Dodgers lead the way on the MLB odds boards as the favorite to win the NL West, even though they sit in second place at the time of writing this.
- Dodgers -175
- Diamondbacks +250
- Rockies +600
- Giants +2500
- Pads +100000
Cross-referencing the implied probability in Las Vegas with the projections is a great way to verify a team’s chances or find holes that you can exploit in fantasy and betting markets. In the case of the NL West in 2018, everything is congruent, so there is a high probability that the Dodgers are going to step into the postseason.
Over in the American League
Things are a little better defined right now in the AL. The Red Sox have had an epic season and are projected to win 108 games and take the AL East. It would take a miracle for the Rays to catch the Yankees to take second place and the Blue Jays and Os are out of the picture.
Over in the AL West, the Houston Astros are still hanging on to their lead buy just a couple of games over the Athletics. The Astros have a 99.9% chance of making the playoffs and the A’s have a slightly tougher remaining schedule, so they sit at 93%. The thing in the American league is the separation of second place in the Central and third place in both the East and West. So it is almost a certainty that we’ll see:
ALDS – Red Sox vs. Yankees/Astros/A’s
ALDS – Indians vs. Astros or A’s
Basically, both the Astros and A’s will make the postseason, but are fighting over who gets the easier road with the Indians.