Sweeps Across the Board in MLB Wild Card
For the first time in Major League Baseball history, four postseason series ended on the same day. All four Wild Card Series ended in a 2-0 sweep, with the home team winning two and the road team winning two.
Moving on to the Divisional Round are the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins in the American League, and the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies in the National League.
For MLB postseason bettors, two favorites in the Wild Card advanced, the Phillies and Twins, and two betting underdogs advanced with the Rangers and Diamondbacks.
What Happened to Tampa Bay?
The Tampa Bay Rays were supposed to win their series with the Rangers and be in the mix for a World Series title. BetUS.com had them as the fifth betting favorite to win the World Series when the playoffs began.
They didn’t look like they belonged playing in October, let alone look like they would win. The Rangers routed them by a combined score of 11-1 in the two games, and they didn’t score through the first 15 innings of the series – a postseason scoreless streak that goes back to last season, and extended to a total of 33 innings. That’s the longest scoreless postseason streak in 49 years, and the second longest in history.
What happened to Tampa Bay is what has happened to them in each of the two previous postseasons. Going back to 2021, the Rays have lost seven playoff games in a row – the longest active streak in MLB now that Minnesota has won – and regular seasons of 100 wins and 99 wins have been wasted.
Even more embarrassing for the Rays is the attendance for the two games. In Game 1 they drew 19,704 fans, the lowest attended MLB postseason game since the 1919 World Series. In Game 2 there were 20,198 fans in attendance, which is the second-lowest total since 1919.
For the season the Rays averaged just 17,781 fans per game, which ranked 27th in baseball.
Texas next plays the Baltimore Orioles, and BetUS.com is paying +350 on a Rangers victory in five games.
Wins for the Twins
After setting a record with 18 straight losses in the postseason, a streak that extended from 2004 to 2020, Minnesota’s return to the playoffs this year has started a winning streak. They did it with great pitching, allowing just one run on 15 hits in the two-game sweep.
Twins pitchers finished with 19 strikeouts, and closer Jhoan Duran served notice that if the game gets to him in the ninth inning, watch out. He struck out a pair of Toronto Blue Jays to clinch the series in the final inning of Game 2, closing out the win with pitches of 100, 102, and 101 mph.
Minnesota plays the Houston Astros in the Divisional Round, and BetUS.com is offering the lowest odds on an Astros victory in five games.
Arizona’s Comebacks Powers Series Win
The Diamondbacks got off to slow starts in each of their two games in Milwaukee, but were powered to victory by late inning offensive surges to get the win. In Game 1, down 3-0, Arizona got home runs from Corbin Carroll, Ketel Marte, and Gabriel Moreno, and went on to win, 6-3.
In Game 2, the Brewers were up 2-0. But a home run by Alek Thomas in the fifth cut the lead to one run, and in the sixth inning the Diamondbacks exploded for four runs, and the game ended 5-2.
Up next is a trip to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in the NLDS. In 13 meetings this season, the Dodgers won eight. XBet.ag is paying -200 for the Dodgers to win Game 1 on Saturday.
NL East Rivals in Other NLDS
The Atlanta Braves ran away with the National League East, winning a MLB-high 104 games, and taking the division by 14 games.
However, the Phillies won the National League pennant last year, beating the Braves in the NLDS 3-1, and since September 15 the Phillies have won 15 of 20 games, including two easy wins over Miami in the Wild Card.
Atlanta did win the season series, 8-5, but the Phillies’ 15-5 stretch since the middle of September included a series win over the Braves in Atlanta.
XBet.ag has the Braves as -204 moneyline favorites in Saturday’s Game 1.