Rays Money Line -154
The Rays knew for several days that they were locked into the top Wildcard spot. This enabled them to give some guys rest before the playoffs began. The Rangers, on the other hand, just missed winning the division, and as a result of the last day of the year, have to go on the road in the Wildcard Round. Jordan Montgomery has been good this year, but he hasn’t faced a lineup like the Rays and all the pressure is on him facing Tampa Bay’s ace. Glasnow has been good at home this year, pitching to a 3.18 ERA. He went 5 scoreless innings in his last start on the road. The Rangers don’t have a very good bullpen, either. The Rangers were a bottom tier bullpen with a 4.28 ERA on the year. The Rays, meanwhile, have one of the best pens in the game, and finished in the top 5 in bullpen ERAs with a 3.86 mark. The better starter, bullpen, and homefield advantage spells trouble for the Rangers in Game 1.
Brewers Money Line -174
The Brewers are turning to stud ace Corbin Burnes in Game 1. In Corbin’s last 15 games, he pitched to a 2.73 ERA, and hasn’t given up a run in his last 2 starts, totaling 9 innings. The Diamondbacks are turning to Brandon Pfaadt, since Zac Gallen pitched this past weekend and isn’t available for Game 1. Pfaadt had a rocky season, pitching to a 5.72 ERA. The Diamondbacks may have a quick hook in this game, but their bullpen wasn’t very good this year. Their bullpen pitched to a 4.48 ERA on the year. The Brewers, meanwhile, had the best bullpen ERA in the entire league, with a 3.71 ERA.
Phillies Money Line -152
The Marlins may be the worst team in the playoffs this year. The Marlins had a -55 run differential this year. Since 1901, 404 teams have been outscored by this many runs or more, and the Marlins are the 1st team to make the playoffs! In fact, only 3 teams even had a winning record with that run differential. Jesus Luzardo has had a nice year overall, but he pitched to a 4.48 ERA on the road this year, and in limited postseason innings, has an ERA just below 6! Whereas the Phillies are battle tested, and the Marlins give off the feel of a team just happy to be in the playoffs.
Kevin Gausman Over 6.5 Ks -148
Gausman has been a strikeout machine this year, averaging over 7.6 Ks per start this year. He’s also been the model of consistency, averaging over 7 Ks per start over his last 7 games, last 15 games, and even over 7 Ks on the road this year. Minnesota also strikes out a lot. They averaged the most strikeouts in the game on a team basis in 2023, averaging over 10 Ks per game!
Corbin Burnes Over 5.5 Ks -118
Burnes has had 7 or more strikeouts in 6 of his last 8 games. He probably would’ve done it in his last start as well, but he was pulled after 4 innings to allow him to rest before the postseason. He has elite strikeout stuff, striking out as many as 13 in a game this year. With Brandon Woodruff out for this series, the Brewers may be more willing to ride Burnes and save their bullpen for later on in this series. Arizona didn’t strikeout a lot during the year, but Burnes should be able to hit this number being fully rested and at home.