MLB Wild Card Game 1 Betting Tips

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, playoff time!

Every one is 0-0 heading into the playoffs and that includes the System as well. The playoffs are a different beast and we need to adjust accordingly.

The System is going to work on the same basic principles as the regular season, but I have switched things up to better account for what we are dealing with. Here’s what I did on the back end:

  • Park runs per game discounted by 15%. In line with recent postseasons.
  • Also adjusted the park run per games to only include games vs. league opponents. So only AL or only NL. (Not really sure this second part did anything, but was worth looking at.)
  • Replaced offense/bullpen last two weeks stats with last month of the regular season stats.
  • Replaced offense/bullpen last month stats with second half stats.
  • Replaced start last thirty days stats with second half stats.
  • Replaced the ZiPS season projections with starters 1st through 6th inning stats. This does two things: reduces average start length while also giving a bump to the elite starters because you’ll only be seeing them at their best time of the game. Most starters don’t make it past the fifth in the playoffs.
  • Replaced vsL and vsR full season stats with the same stats from July 1st to the end of the season. Honestly, I mostly did this because of Cleveland, but every other team gets a small boost or remains about the same.

I made these changes, the lines came out, and I think the System did very well with the adjustment. The totals and moneyline prices are right where the System thinks they should be. Now we just have to beat them.

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Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Guardians Betting Tips:

TBR – Shane McClanahan 2.54 ERA/3.00 FIP
CLE – Shane Bieber 2.88 ERA/2.87 FIP

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Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals Betting Tips:

PHI – Zack Wheeler 2.82 ERA/2.89 FIP
STL – Jose Quintana 2.93 ERA/2.99 FIP

Those is the closest game of the day. The System has it very slightly to St. Louis at -103 while the sportsbooks have it at -103. Hey, that’s pretty cool to see.

I really don’t like the Cardinals bullpen and I think it’s going to be their undoing in this series. Quintana is a good starter, but this is a heavy weight. Will he go long? That’s dangerous with this offense third time through. Or the bullpen comes in and who knows.

This game is going to be about the offenses. The Phillies have a 120 wRC+ against lefties since 7/1 and are coming in hot with a 110 wRC+ in the second half. They definitely have some homerun guys in the lineup that can do damage.

But so do the Cardinals. They are one of the best offenses out there. They have a 113 wRC+ against righties and a 124 wRC+ in the second half. Wheeler is very good and finished strong, but he was much worse on the road this season with a 3.84 ERA/3.15 FIP.

I like the starters, but I like the offenses much better and the bullpens should put us over the top here.

Phillies/Cardinals Over 6.5 (-120)
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Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays Betting Tips:

SEA – Luis Castillo 2.99 ERA/3.07 FIP
TOR – Alek Manoah 2.24 ERA/3.34 FIP

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San Diego Padres at New York Mets Betting Tips:

SDP – Yu Darvish 3.10 ERA/3.31 FIP
NYM – Max Scherzer 2.29 ERA/2.61 FIP

This tip won’t feature a ton of analysis like the others because this one is much simpler and is the most lopsided of all the games in the System.

The Mets have the best starter going today by far, their offense is better than the Padres offense in every category that we are looking at, and I trust Edwin Diaz 1000x more than I trust Josh Hader.

Mets -139