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MLB Wild Card Betting Preview

Published on 10/07/2021
By Scott Gramling
New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole was 16-8 with a 3.23 ERA for New York this season.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Tuesday 10/5, 8:08 p.m. ET

Gerrit Cole takes the mound for the Yankees after a season in which he was one of the American League’s top starting pitchers with a 16-8 record and 3.23 ERA. Cole has struggled in recent weeks, however, going 2-2 with a 6.15 ERA while giving up six homers among the 33 hits he allowed in 26.3 innings over five starts in the past month.

The Red Sox are one of five MLB teams to average more than 5 runs per game in 2021. They secured a playoff spot and home-field advantage for the American League Wild Card game by ending the regular season with a three-game sweep of the Nationals in Washington, winning all three games by a two-run margin (4-2 on Friday, 5-3 on Saturday and 7-5 on Sunday). Since the start of 2021, American League teams that score an average of at least 4.9 runs per game are 9-3 when coming off back-to-back victories by two runs or fewer.

 

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Wednesday 10/6, 8:10 p.m. ET

An impressive regular-season mark of 106-56 wasn’t quite enough for the Dodgers to overcome the NL West champion Giants, who compiled Major League Baseball’s best record at 107-55. It did, however, earn L.A. home-field advantage for its Wild Card showdown against the Cardinals, with whom the Dodgers split a four-game series in St. Louis when these teams last met on Sept. 6-9. Los Angeles ace Max Scherzer opened that series by striking out 13 Cardinals without allowing a walk or an earned run over eight innings of a 5-1 victory.

The heavily favored Dodgers enter the postseason on a seven-game win streak, and they scored 8 or more runs in each of their final five games of the regular season. Since the start of 2021, home favorites with a winning record that are coming off six or more consecutive victories are 13-4 in games with a moneyline of between -175 and -250.

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