MLB – Play-offs Loom with Plenty in World Series Mix

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The MLB playoffs start next week but there are still some things to settle the final few games of the regular season.

LA Dodgers Stadium

We are now just a week away from the start of the MLB playoffs and there are still plenty of issues to settle in the final few games of the regular season.

Here, we take a look at who could be in the shake-up for a crack at the World Series and also provide a couple of tips for Tuesday’s matches.

Giants Grab the Key Advantage

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 17/5 favourites to win the World Series, but it looks as if they are going to have to do it the hard way after San Francisco opened a two-game advantage in the race for the National League West.

Both teams have reached a triple-figure win tally, but with six home games remaining, the Dodgers will be hoping the Giants slip up so they don’t have to go through a nerve-packed one-off wildcard game.

Whoever finishes second in the division is likely to face the St Louis Cardinals, and that cannot be considered good news as they are powering towards the end of the campaign, having won their last 16 matches.

While the Milwaukee Brewers have already secured the National League Central, there is all to play for in the East where Atlanta hold a 2.5-game advantage over the Philadelphia with the pair scheduled to play three matches in Georgia, starting on Tuesday. 

No playoff place will be awaiting the loser. It’s win or go home.

In the American League, Tampa Bay have already won the East, the Chicago White Sox have taken the Central division and the Houston Astros are on the verge of capturing the West.

However, the race for the two wildcard spots is a minefield and the New York Yankees threw a spanner in the works by winning a three-game series at Boston to head their rivals in the pecking order.

They are just a single game ahead of the Red Sox, but Toronto, Seattle and Oakland are all within three wins of making one of the two places so that looks set to go right down to the wire.

Phillies have to Take their Chance

It is now or never for Philadelphia in their battle for the National League East and they look a good bet at 21/20 to win the opener of their key series in Atlanta.

The Phillies suffered a blow when a defeat to Pittsburgh ended a five-match winning streak but they should be confident with Zack Wheeler on the mound.

They have won on the last five occasions he’s started, while his opposite number Charlie Morton has been struggling.

He has won on just one of his six starts and a loss last time out against struggling Arizona was particularly disappointing, so take the Phillies on the moneyline.

St Louis’s 16-match unbeaten run must come to an end eventually but they can squeeze another out against Milwaukee, who have been preparing for the playoffs for more than a week.

The Cardinals claimed a 4-0 series win over the Brewers recently and they should be backed on the moneyline at 11/10, particularly as pitcher Adam Wainwright has won on 11 of his 12 starts this year.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post
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