MLB Picks: Division Series Game 1 Predictions, Analysis

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MLB Picks: Division Series Game 1 Predictions, Analysis
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Three of four MLB Wild Card series underdogs won over the weekend. The Cleveland Guardians were the only favorite to advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs after getting a 1-0 win in 15 innings in Game 2. 

The new playoff format presents new challenges for the advancing Wild Card teams as they used up their top two or three starters and will now face a rested opponent that had the best or second-best overall record in their league and their rested ace starting pitcher. 

So, it is not surprising to see the Wild Card winners all priced as significant underdogs to advance to the NLCS.

In the four first games today, the home teams will have their ace on the hill, but we have already seen three aces lose in the Wild Card round. 

The Wild Card winners will go to their respective aces in Game 2 so this puts more pressure on the home favorites to win Game 1 and not all of them will.

Cleveland +185 at New York Yankees -215

The Yankees dominated the Guardians during the regular season, winning five of six meetings. But all six games took place early in the year when the Yankees dominated everyone building a 15.5-game lead in the AL East standings on July 8. 

The Yankees had the 17th-best record of the 32 teams with a 38-40 record from July 9. The Guardians had the second-best record in MLB since July 9 with an outstanding 55-29 record. The Yankees’ Aaron Judge masked many of the fundamental flaws his team possessed, but in the playoffs, those weaknesses are revealed.

Currently, the Yankees are getting the bulk of the public betting interest with 67% of the tickets bet on the Yankees. However, those Yankees bets only account for 24% of the money bet reflecting that the ‘sharps’ (large bettors) are on the Guardians. The 43% difference between ticket and money percentages is by far the highest on the board with the other three games all less than 10% differentials.

Situational Trends and Angles

  • The Guardians are 29-15, making 14 units on the moneyline , when facing an AL opponent allowing 4.4 or fewer runs per game and batting .255 or lower in the second half of this season.
  • The under in this situation has earned a 27-15-2 record, good for 64% winning Under bets.
  • The Guardians are 40-19, making 21 units on the moneyline, when facing a team that is averaging .6 or fewer errors per game in the second half of this season.

I am betting the Cleveland Guardians in Game 1 over the New York Yankees and betting the Guardians to win this series getting +190 as offered at BetMGM Sportsbook.

Other Best Bets for the Tuesday Card

  • The Phillies +1.5 run line -125 as offered at BetMGM

Phillies are 26-17 making 14 units on the moneyline when facing an elite starting pitcher with an ERA of 2.75 or lower on the season.

  • Bet the Under 6.5 runs +100 in Game 1 between the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros as offered at BetMGM
  • Bet the Dodgers live in-game if the Padres score not more than two runs before the Dodgers score during the first two innings only.

This will reduce the Dodgers' money by at least 50 basis points to around -150 on the moneyline. Dodgers are 16-8 when the opponent got out to a one or two-run lead in home games played this season.

Here are some player prop bets to consider today.

  1. Bet the Yankees Gerrit Cole Under 17.5 record outs +139 at Caesars.
  2. Bet the Dodgers Justin Turner to get a double +400 at DraftKings.
  3. Bet the Mariners Eugenio Suarez to hit a home run +500 at DraftKings.
  4. Bet the Astros Justin Verlander Under 17.5 recorded outs +110 at Caesars.
  5. Bet the Yankees Giancarlo Stanton to get a hit -175 at BetMGM.

In 167 prop bets, I have a 74-93 record, making a profit of $495 per $20 pizza-money wager or $2,475 per $100 wager. The results have produced a 63% return on investment (ROI) for the 2022 MLB season and playoffs.

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John Ryan

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