The St. Louis Cardinals had a historic 17-game winning streak in September.
You'll hear often that you want to back the hot team going into the baseball playoffs, and that is a good angle. Just be aware that the Cardinals might not be the hottest team in this game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were great down the stretch. The San Francisco Giants were just a little better and won the NL West. The Dodgers were 22-7 in September and October. The Cardinals were 23-9. The Dodgers were 21-6 in August too. Los Angeles was blazing hot, just without stringing together 17 in a row.
The Dodgers are -225 favorites at BetMGM for Wednesday night's game. That high spread isn't unjustified.
Los Angeles went 106-56 in the regular season, 16 games ahead of the Cardinals in the standings. St. Louis had a heck of a run to get the second wild-card spot, and it should feel better about its chances in a one-game playoff against Los Angeles than it would have a month ago, but it will still be an uphill battle.
The pitching matchup sums up the game itself: The Cardinals' starter is good, and the Dodgers' starter is clearly better. Adam Wainwright had a surprising revival, winning 17 games with a 3.05 ERA. He'll face Max Scherzer, who had a 1.98 ERA in 11 Dodgers starts after he was acquired in a trade. He'd be a fine pick for NL Cy Young.
Anything can happen in a one-game baseball playoff. It seems unfair the Dodgers' 106-win season comes down to one game against a Cardinals team that did win 17 in a row to make the playoffs. But the Dodgers are the right side, even at some steep odds. Think of it this way: The Dodgers' season could end tonight, but they're still BetMGM's World Series favorite at +400.
Here's our first look at the Wednesday sports betting slate:
Is there anything else going on in the sporting world?
There are two WNBA games tonight, and a good amount of NHL and NBA preseason games if that excites you. But there haven't been a lot of games yet this week and that will mostly be the case until the NHL and NBA regular season start soon.
What about some NL wild-card props then?
I'd take the over on Max Scherzer 7.5 strikeouts. St. Louis doesn't strike out a ton, but Scherzer has been nearly unhittable since coming over from the Washington Nationals and he struck out 11.8 per nine innings this season. You're going to see a locked-in Scherzer on Wednesday night. BetMGM also offers how many outs a pitcher will get and I'd take over 17.5 (at -145 odds) on Scherzer. He should go at least six innings.
On the hitting side I'll take over 1.5 bases for Corey Seager. He hit .385 in September and October and clearly has a good postseason track record.
Who cashed tickets on Tuesday?
The Boston Red Sox never really had a sweat after jumping on Gerrit Cole early. They were a slight -105 underdog but cruised past the New York Yankees. The Red Sox are +800 to win the World Series. They'll face the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
What's the best bet?
Well, there aren't many to pick from. I'll say that Scherzer over 17.5 outs prop is calling out. He's one of the great pitchers of the era, and I have faith he'll pitch well. And if he's pitching well, he's not getting pulled before the end of the sixth inning.