The October dance card is nearly full with the majority of postseason-bound MLB clubs having already clinched. We take a close sports betting handicapping look at these playoff teams and what they need to do in order to win the World Series this fall:
Toronto Blue Jays (4/1 to win World Series)
The Blue Jays need to break from the postseason mold and stick to smashing the ball. Toronto has shown a weakness in low-scoring, drawn out games – which is what a lot of October games are like – and needs its staff to put in at least six innings of work in order to keep the pressure off the bullpen.
Kansas City Royals (4/1)
The Royals need to snap out of their September skid before the season ends. Kansas City is just 10-15 with a staff ERA of 5.20 this month. And with momentum being half the battle in the playoffs, the Royals seem destined for an early exit. Losing closer Greg Holland is also a huge blow to take just before the postseason as well.
New York Mets (5/1)
New York has been great at home but must show it can steal a game or two on the road this postseason – and its current road trip is putting those questions to rest. The Mets have to be careful not to get sucked into any slug fests, since they just don’t have the fire power to keep pace.
St. Louis Cardinals (5/1)
The Cardinals lost their rock behind home plate, with catcher Yadier Molina out for the remainder of the regular season and his status up in the air for the playoffs. St. Louis depends so much on Molina, which could throw a wrench into baseball’s best pitching staff. St. Louis wants to keep scores down and pressure high. That’s where it excels the most.
Pittsburgh Pirates (10/1)
The Bucs need to keep the momentum rolling into October. Pittsburgh has won eight of its last 10 games, heading into Monday, and being able to ride that success is a huge part of the postseason. While the Pirates have a great team, it’s not always the best roster but the hottest club that wins the series.
Chicago Cubs (12/1)
The Cubs need to shut out the pressure of returning to the postseason. With the longest World Series drought in the majors, Chicago will be buzzing come October – which could put a lot more weight on the shoulders of the Cubbies than needed. After a season-long battle to get in, Chicago runs the risk of having it all blow up in its face during the Wild Card play-in.