In the meantime, let's discuss where the action is flowing for today's NL Wild Card showdown...
8:10 p.m. ET: St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
This NL Wild Card one-game playoff feels like a David vs Goliath matchup. The Cardinals (90-72) were a late surprise, catching fire down the stretch highlighted by a 17-game win streak. On the flip side, the Dodgers (106-56) finished with the second best record in MLB but ended up trailing the Giants (107-55) by one game in their division. The Cardinals were + 34 in run differential on the year. Los Angeles was + 269. Both teams hit .244, which ties them for 11th best in MLB. The difference comes on the mound. The Dodgers team ERA is 3.01, best in MLB. The Cardinals team ERA is 3.98, which ranks 12th. These teams met up seven times in the regular season, with the Dodgers going 4-3 head-to-head.
Tonight, the Cardinals hand the ball to veteran righty Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.05 ERA) and the Dodgers counter with ace Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA). This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a hefty -205 home favorite and St. Louis a + 185 road dog. The public is relatively split. They love the Dodgers at home but the price is so high. And in a one-game playoff anything can happen, so the red-hot Cardinals are appealing at a big plus-money price.
Despite this relatively even betting, the Dodgers have been steamed up from -205 to -225. Big postseason favorites -200 or more are 27-10 (73%) over the past decade. Los Angeles also has correlative betting value as a big favorite with a low total (7.5). Low totals benefit favorites as the fewer amount of expected runs scored makes it more likely to come from the better team. The Dodgers went 106-53 as a favorite this season and 58-23 at home. The Cardinals went 39-41 as dogs and 45-36 away.
The total opened at a low 7.5 and hasn't budged. Some books are juicing up the under 7.5 to -115, signaling slight under liability. When the total is 7.5 or higher in the playoffs, the under is roughly 54% the past decade. The forecast calls for low 70s with 5 MPH winds blowing out to right center. Both teams were slightly to the under in the regular season, with St. Louis 80-74 to the under and Los Angeles 81-71 to the under.
Updated World Series Odds (via BetMGM)
Dodgers + 400
Astros + 475
Rays, Giants + 600
White Sox + 700
Brewers, Red Sox + 800
Braves + 1200
Cardinals + 2000
Braves + 120 vs Brewers -145
White Sox + 105 vs Astros -125
Red Sox + 125 vs Rays -150