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MLB Playoffs // 29-SEP

The MLB postseason kicks off today with 4 games from the American League. The Twins host the Astros, The A’s host the White Sox, The Rays host the Blue Jays, and the Indians host the Yankees. This first round is a best of 3 series. It’s important to note all games are played on consecutive days with no travel at the home team’s ballpark.

Our #HomeRunLine series analysis for each match up is below. Let's start the postseason off right and get #InTheMoney!!

Astros vs. Twins

The Twins are the favorite to win this series and for good reason. The Twins won a tough division in the AL Central with a 36-24 record. While the Astros got in with a sub .500 29-31. The series will start with Kenta Maeda and Zack Greinke sharing the mound. Maeda boasts a 2.70 ERA while Greinke finished at 4.03. To make things better for the Twins, Maeda’s ERA was 1.91 at home while Greinke traveled with a 4.59 ERA. As a team, the Twins ranked 4th with an ERA of 3.58 while the Astros were 13th at 4.31. On the other side of the ball, the Twins have a slight offensive advantage. They rank higher in BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS. In the HR category, Minnesota blows them away +22. The Astros scored more runs this season and lead baseball with the fewest strikeouts (440). Still, the advantage is on the Twins side. Beyond the numbers, Minnesota has been consistent and is going into the playoffs confident. The Astros have stumbled and bumbled their way in by virtue of an AL West that was not great this year. We look for the Twins to move to the next round at a price of -190.


White Sox vs. Athletics

This series is not as clear cut as the one above. Both teams boasted the best record in the AL at one point in the season. The White Sox come in with a top 5 offense while the A’s are more middle of the road. The A’s pitching is top 5 in most categories including Runs, HRs, and Walks allowed. Classic offense vs. defense matchup. Some notable stats that lean Oakland’s way; The White Sox finished 4th in striking out while their defense allowed 23 unearned runs. Oakland struck out 50 fewer times and their defense only allowed 16 unearned. On the other side, Oakland struggles with starting pitching. Their starters are great the 1st time thru the lineup, but then will give up runs the next time around. The Oakland offense relies on timing. The A’s were king of the walk-off and their bullpen is almost unbeatable and has a lot of depth. If the White Sox score early and in bunches, the A’s will have a tough time. This is almost guaranteed to need all 3 games and maybe some extra innings. Our lean in this series is to Oakland at -120 as they have been more successful as of late, and a good bullpen outweighs any offense.


Blue Jays vs. Rays

This is a battle of the #1 and #8 teams, so you would think this is an easy call, but the numbers say otherwise. Toronto has a better team batting average and hit more home runs. They’re young and explosive. If it weren’t for injuries, they would not be the 8 seed. They also finished with a better record than Houston and won 6 of their last 8, including 3 of 4 against the Yankees. The Rays pitching is where their advantage comes. They have the 3rd best team ERA, 4th best in free bags, and 6th in strikeouts. The Blue Jays are 17th in ERA, 29th in freebees, and 16th in K’s. Blake Snell is starting game 1 for the Rays and went 1 and 1 with a 2.57 ERA at home. He only averages 4 innings per start this season, so if the Blue Jays can get on top of him early, they have a real shot. Matt Shoemaker is taking the hill for the Blue Jays. He has only had 1 outing in the last month. He went 3 innings and gave up 1 run. This is the postseason, so I’m sure he’s ready to go and will match Snell in performance. The Blue Jays are young and will be in the playoff picture for the next couple years, I just don’t think their pitching is good enough to get them past this first round this year.  Taking all of this into account, we are playing the Rays in the series at -220.


Yankees vs. Indians

This will be an interesting matchup. The Yankees are the Evil Empire that somehow finds their way into the playoffs, thanks to this new format. While the Indians are one of the hottest teams right now; winning 9 of their last 11 to secure the #4 seed. However, the Yankees are not as bad as their record shows. Riddled with injuries, they held on. Now they are seemingly healthy. The Yankees scored the 4th most runs this season by hitting the 5th most home runs. They struck out the 7th least amount of times and lead the MLB in walks. The Indians were 25th in runs, 27th in home runs, 15th in strikeouts, but 3rd in walks. On the other side of the ball, the Indians are #1 in strikeouts, #2 in team ERA, #2 in walks allowed, and #5 in home runs allowed. The Yankees are 11th in strikeouts, 14th in team ERA, 26th in home runs allowed, but 4th in walks allowed. The pitching matchup for game 1 features Gerrit Cole vs. Mr. Triple Crown, Shane Bieber. Obviously, “Mr. Triple Crown” speaks for itself. He led the AL with 8 wins, 122 K’s, and a 1.63 ERA. Cole won 7 games, had 94 K’s, and a 2.84 ERA. If both of these guys pitch to their potential, this will be a very low scoring game. If the Indians can stay hot, they can take the series. We see this going 3 games and anticipate the Yankees winning the series at -105.

Hit us up @TTSportsLines and let us know what you think!


/ As always, please forgive any typos and grammatical errors

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