Minty Bets and Ariel Epstein give their best futures bets for the 2022 Major League Baseball Postseason.
MINTY BETS: The MLB postseason is in full effect. I'm Minty Bets, joined by Ariel Epstein, and we have a lot to talk about. The postseason begins with the wildcard round, where teams must win best of 3 games. The four matchups consist of the Padres versus the Mets, the Phillies versus the Cardinals, the Mariners versus the Blue Jays, and the Rays versus the Guardians. Ariel, why don't you start us off and give us your best bet for the wildcard round?
ARIEL EPSTEIN: Minty, the only team I'm going to take in the wildcard round is going to be an underdog. There is great value on the Seattle Mariners, at plus 140, to beat the Toronto Blue Jays. Probably contrarian. Lots of people think the Blue Jays are a good World Series pick. The Mariners have beaten the Blue Jays in five of the seven games they played them this year.
Seattle also is top 10 in road OPS, top 10 road ERA. They have the bullpen advantage. Better bullpen in Seattle than it is in Toronto. Also, when you look at the road record, Seattle is one of the better road teams in this wildcard round. I'll take the Seattle Mariners, at plus 140, to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto.
MINTY BETS: OK, and my pick, I'm looking at the Padres versus the Mets. Now in all realness, I believe the Mets will win this series. But the Padres were excellent this season, despite not having Tatís in their lineup and despite being in the same division as the Dodgers. But this is going to be a really tough competitor for the Padres here. I mean, the Mets have two of the best-- arguably the best pitchers in the league in Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, who are expected to start Friday and Saturday.
They've also got a really reliable bullpen and a very strong, consistent lineup here. So I do like the Mets to win this series, but I'm going to look to the series total instead and go under 2 and 1/2 games at minus 120. I'm also going to sprinkle a little bit on the Mets to win the first two games at plus 145. All right, Ariel, let's move on to the American League winner. Who do you have in the American League?
ARIEL EPSTEIN: Minty, I see value at 11 to 1 for the Tampa Bay rays to win the American League. Now I do believe in the Houston Astros. I just can't give you the favorite. That's just not my style. If I'm going to sit on something, I better sit on it at 11 to 1, not 2, 3 to 1. The Rays have a really good shot of winning the league if they get through the Cleveland Guardians, which they do have a shot at.
The Guardians, 23rd OPS at home. Rays, top 10 in ERA since the all-star break. Also a top 10 ERA when on the road. Tampa Bay gets back their starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, who's pitched two different starts this year. He has a 1.35 ERA in those two starts. Granted, only just about six innings pitched. However, it's going to help this team starting rotation-wise to continue that depth in the bullpen, which the Rays are very much known for.
If the Rays get through the Guardians, they get to face the Yankees, their division rivals who, by the way, in the nine games that those teams played against each other in the second half, the Rays won five of those nine games with a slight advantage there in the win column. Tampa Bay Rays 11 to 1 to go win the AL. And if they make it to the ALCS, they get to face the Houston Astros most likely. You could hedge out if you wanted to. But I like the value at 11 to 1 for Tampa.
MINTY BETS: Oh, I like that value, too, but I'm going with the Toronto Blue Jays. Kind of like you, in all realness, I believe that the Astros will take the American League here. But I want to make a case for the Blue Jays because I want to see them go far into the postseason. Now offensively, this team is great. Top five in batting average, OPS, slugging, RBI, and seventh in homers.
But they kind of make up offensively what they lack defensively. In pitching, they're just the middle of the pack when it comes to pitching. But they have great pitchers. They just haven't had the best of luck this regular season. Hopefully, they can tighten things up here in the postseason. And if so, they have a real shot of winning the American League pennant. Now moving on to the National League. Ariel, who do you have for the National League?
ARIEL EPSTEIN: I don't love this value as much as I do for their World Series price-- tease to a little bit later-- however, the New York Mets at 4 to 1. It's the best value you're getting on the Mets all season. While everyone's fading the Mets because of their last few weeks of the year-- they've been slumping, their pitching hasn't been top notch-- the Mets, still at home in the wildcard series, could have a shot to heat up.
Their pitching is the best in the league. It's actually the best in baseball, the starters. Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt at home. The Mets have a really good shot. When I was looking at a team to win the NL that had a little bit of value-- because, again, I'm not giving you the favorite. No sitting on the Dodgers. Even though I love the Dodgers, waste of your time to sit and wait on that bet.
The only pitching staff that I could see beating the Dodgers lineup is the best lineup in baseball, the New York Mets. It really is the best starting rotation. Mets have the third-best OPS post all-star break, so the bats are still hot. I have faith in the pitching. Mets 4 to 1, best value that you'll get on this team all year.
MINTY BETS: I do like the Mets here, but I think I'm going with their division rival in the Atlanta Braves. Now it's kind of hard for me to bet against the Dodgers as they finish the regular season with the best record, and they looked dominant all season long. But finishing with the best record doesn't really mean anything, as we saw last year. The Atlanta Braves, they took on the Dodgers in the NLCS and won and went on to win the World Series.
The Braves have a top-five offense and top-five pitching. And the reason why I'm not going with the Dodgers here is because of the injuries involving their pitching rotation. That is a bit of a concern for me, so I like the Braves to kind of sneak this one in at plus 225. OK, Ariel, out of your pennant winners, who are you taking to win the World Series?
ARIEL EPSTEIN: I'm taking the New York Mets to win the World Series. Defenses win championships. Hot bats win championships. Mets bats are the hotter bats right now. And as long as their pitching continues to be as hot as they were for most of the season, the Mets, at 7 to 1, great value to win the World Series.
MINTY BETS: Oh, very good value, indeed. I'm going with the Braves to repeat at 5 to 1. To recap our MLB postseason picks, in the wildcard round, Ariel is going with the Mariners over the Blue Jays, and I'm going with the Padres and Mets under 2 and 1/2 games. In the American League, Ariel has the Tampa Bay Rays, and I'm on the Toronto Blue Jays. In the National League, Ariel is going with the New York Mets, and I'm on the Atlanta Braves. And for the World Series winner, Ariel has the Mets, and I am on the Braves.
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