Updated September 30, 2020 - 10:58 am
Bettors are primed for a historic day Wednesday. For the first time, eight MLB playoff games are scheduled, with start times from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
And, by the way, the NBA Finals also tip off.
Here’s the betting menu for Wednesday (odds at the Westgate, updated at 11 a.m.):
(at Lake Buena Vista, Florida)
Los Angeles Lakers (-4½, total 217½, -185 ML) vs. Miami (+165 ML), Game 1, 6 p.m. (KTNV)
Bettors are getting behind the underdog Heat in Game 1 and to win the NBA Finals. The Game 1 line has ticked down from Lakers -5½, and the series price has dropped from Lakers -450 (Heat +375) all the way to Lakers -330 (Heat +270). The price bumped back up to Lakers -350 (Heat +290) on Wednesday morning. The total has also ticked down from 218. The Lakers have the unquestioned best two players in the series in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but the Heat might have the next five best. Both teams are 12-3 in the playoffs. The Lakers were expected to be here at the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but East No. 5 seed Miami knocked off No. 4 Indiana, No. 1 Milwaukee and No. 3 Boston with relative ease.
Line movement: None. Holding steady from overnight.
(Pitchers subject to change)
(Note: xFIP is an advanced stat that is a more accurate measure of a pitcher’s performance than ERA.)
Wild Card Series
Houston (+143) at Minnesota (-153, 8½ over -120), Game 2, 10 a.m. (ESPN2)
Probable pitchers: Undecided vs. Minnesota’s Jose Berrios (RHP, 5-4, 4.00 ERA, 4.28 xFIP)
Notes: The Astros won Game 1 of the series 4-1 on Tuesday as +145 underdogs. The game stayed under 7½. Houston scored three in the top of the ninth to break open a 1-1 game, starting with a bases-loaded walk. The Astros avoided the bullpen, getting four innings from starter Zack Greinke, followed by five from fellow starter Framber Valdez. The Astros have not declared a starter for Game 2, but signs point to Jose Urquidy (RHP, 1-1, 2.73 ERA 5.36 xFIP). The snakebit Twins have lost a record 17 straight postseason games. Berrios will be making his second playoff start. He gave up three runs (one earned) in four innings in a loss to the New York Yankees last season.
Update: The line closed at Twins -153/Astros +143, total 8½ (over -120) after being Twins -148/Astros +138, 7½ (over -115) overnight.
Chicago White Sox (+121) at Oakland (-131, 7½ under -125), Game 2, noon (ESPN)
Probable pitchers: Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel (LHP, 6-2, 1.99 ERA, 3.98 xFIP) vs. Oakland’s Chris Bassitt (RHP, 5-2, 2.29 ERA, 4.49 xFIP)
Notes: The White Sox won Game 1 of the series 4-1 on Tuesday as -110 favorites. The game stayed under 7½. Lucas Giolito pitched six perfect innings and seven overall for Chicago, allowing one run on two hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Starter Jesus Luzardo lasted only 3⅓ innings for Oakland, giving up a solo home run to Adam Engel and a two-run shot to Jose Abreu. Now, to stay alive the Athletics will have to beat Keuchel, a playoff veteran (11 starts, 3.47 ERA) who won a World Series with Houston in 2017. His xFIP this season shows that his sparkling ERA might be masking some weakness. His strikeouts per nine innings (5.97) are the lowest since his rookie season in 2012. Bassitt’s xFIP also points to more struggles that his ERA indicates. He will be making his postseason debut.
Line movement: Oakland up from -122. Total juiced further to under after being under -115.
Toronto (+125) at Tampa Bay (-135, 7), Game 2, 1 p.m. (TBS)
Probable pitchers: Toronto’s Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, 5-2, 2.69 ERA, 3.32 xFIP) vs. Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow (RHP, 5-1, 4.08 ERA, 2.75 xFIP)
Notes: The Rays won Game 1 of the series 3-1 on Tuesday as -185 favorites. The game stayed under 7½. Blake Snell pitched five no-hit innings for Tampa Bay. He ended up allowing one hit in 5⅔ innings with nine strikeouts and two walks. The Blue Jays will try to respond in Game 2 behind the veteran Ryu, who was 3-2 with a 4.05 ERA in eight career playoff starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Glasnow is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his two playoff starts, but he has been rock solid for the Rays this season.
Line movement: Tampa Bay down from -140.
New York Yankees (-122, 8½) at Cleveland (+112), Game 2, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Probable pitchers: New York’s Masahiro Tanaka (RHP, 3-3, 3.56 ERA, 4.19 xFIP) vs. Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco (RHP, 3-4, 2.91 ERA, 3.65 xFIP)
Notes: The Yankees shelled the Indians 12-3 in Game 1 of the series Tuesday as -120 favorites. The game easily went over 6½. Cleveland ace Shane Bieber is all but certain to win the AL Cy Young award, but he picked a bad time to have by far his worst start of the season. He allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4⅔ innings, including two-run home runs by Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres. Bieber had not allowed more than three runs in a start all season. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings with 13 strikeouts and no walks. New York will try to close out the series with Tanaka, who is 5-3 with a 1.76 ERA in eight career playoff starts (3.97 xFIP). Carrasco is 0-1 with a 1.64 ERA (3.49 xFIP) in two playoff starts.
Line movement: New York down slightly from -125. Total up from 8 under -120.
Cincinnati (+124) at Atlanta (-134, 7½), Game 1, 9 a.m. (ESPN)
Probable pitchers: Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer (RHP, 5-4, 1.73 ERA, 3.25 xFIP) vs. Atlanta’s Max Fried (LHP, 7-0, 2.25 ERA, 4.05 xFIP)
Notes: The Braves are -140 favorites to win the series (Reds +120). The Game 1 line has moved toward the Reds after opening Atlanta -135 (Cincinnati +125). Bauer is 1-4 with a 3.81 ERA (3.46 xFIP) in 10 playoff appearances (six starts). Braves ace Fried will make his first playoff start after eight appearances in relief (6⅓ innings, 7.11 ERA, 4.92 xFIP).
Update: Line closed at Atlanta -134/Cincinnati +124, total 7½ -110 after being Atlanta -125/Cincinnati +115, total 7½ under -115 overnight.
Miami (+147) at Chicago Cubs (-157, 8½ over -115), Game 1, 11 a.m. (KTNV)
Probable pitchers: Miami’s Sandy Alcantara (RHP, 3-2, 3.00 ERA, 4.04 xFIP) vs. Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks (RHP, 6-5, 2.88 ERA, 3.78 xFIP)
Notes: The Cubs are -190 favorites to win the series (Marlins +170). The Game 1 line has moved toward Miami after opening Cubs -185 (Marlins +170). Miami is making only its third postseason appearance, but it won the World Series in its other two (1997, 2003). Alcantara will make his playoff debut. Hendricks is 2-3 with a 2.98 ERA (3.61 xFIP) in 11 playoff appearances (10 starts).
St. Louis (+140) at San Diego (-150, 8½ over -115), Game 1, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Probable pitchers: St. Louis’ Kwang-Hyun Kim (LHP, 3-0, 1.62 ERA, 4.52 xFIP) vs. San Diego’s Chris Paddack (RHP, 4-5, 4.73 ERA, 3.77 xFIP)
Notes: The Padres are -190 favorites to win the series (Cardinals +170). The Game 1 line has moved toward St. Louis after opening Padres -176 (Cardinals +163). Kim is an MLB rookie after 12 seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization. Paddack will also be making his postseason debut.
Line movement: San Diego down from -160. Total up from 8 -110.
Milwaukee (+200) at Los Angeles Dodgers (-220, 8 under -120), Game 1, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Probable pitchers: Milwaukee’s Brent Suter (LHP, 2-0, 3.13 ERA, 2.64 xFIP) vs. Los Angeles’ Walker Buehler (RHP, 1-0, 3.44 ERA, 3.93 xFIP)
Notes: The Dodgers are -370 favorites to win the series (Brewers +310). Suter will serve as an opener in what is expected to be a bullpen game for Milwaukee. Buehler is 1-1 with a 2.72 ERA (2.98 xFIP) in six career playoff starts.
Line movement: Los Angeles down from -240.