Friday, October 03, 2014

Dodgers Best Bet To Win WS

Vegas odds have the Dodgers at a 6-1 WS winner, which is the best of the playoff teams...tied with the Tigers, Nationals and Angels (link insider only):

While the favorites/dogs and home/away teams split, both games went over the totals of 6.5 runs. But now the one-and-done wild-card games are behind us and we have four best-of-five divisional series to see who moves on in the march to the World Series.

As we wrote Tuesday, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had the Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals as 9-2 tri-favorites to win it all. The Los Angeles Angels were 5-1, but have since been bet down to 9-2 as well. The other division winners -- Baltimore Orioles (7-1) and St. Louis Cardinals (8-1) -- were next in line, with the Giants at 14-1 and the Royals at 16-1, but now they're both 10-1. [...]

St. Louis Cardinals versus Los Angeles Dodgers
Series starts: Friday, Oct. 3 (6:35 p.m. ET)
Series odds: Los Angeles minus-185/St. Louis plus-165

How they match up: Los Angeles won the season series 4-3 and is a heavy favorite here. But don't forget that last year the Dodgers were a minus-135 favorite in the NLDS yet St. Louis eliminated them as rookie Michael Wacha beat Clayton Kershaw twice. Kershaw again leads the Dodgers' rotation (which is considered much stronger, but L.A. only has a slight edge in team ERA at 3.40 to 3.50) while Wacha is likely to be moved to the St. Louis bullpen after going just 5-6 this year in a season shortened by elbow and shoulder injuries. The Cardinals have the lowest runs-per-game average of the playoff teams at 3.82, while the Dodgers average more than a half-run more at 4.43.

Series pick: There are reasons to fade Los Angeles here and go with St. Louis, not the least of which being the Cards prevailing over the Dodgers last year. However, I think the favorite will win, so I'll pass on the tempting underdog price.

Situational play: I think the way to play the Cardinals is to back them in Game 1 on Friday. Kershaw, for all his regular-season success and he certainly deserved to be in the MVP discussion, is 1-3 lifetime in the playoffs and I believe is fadable, especially with Adam Wainwright in the opener at plus-180. Wainwright has a postseason record of 4-3 but was 4-1 before last year's World Series. He lost his only start against the Dodgers this year, but gave up only one run. I would also look to the unders in this series as the under was 5-2 in the season series; however, it's hard to go under a total of 5.5 like we have in Friday's Game 1.

I don't know what half of this stuff means, but I hope it's good.


QuadSevens said...

I'm heading to Vegas today, and this makes me want to place a bet or two.

Steve Sax said...

@Quad, make sure you bring MPQ with you