MLB Wild Card Picks
Following an abbreviated regular season the MLB postseason tournament begins Tuesday with a four-pack of games for our viewing and betting pleasure. These first-round series are best-of-three affairs, so these series openers are crucial. How are we playing Tuesday's games with our free MLB playoff picks?
Twins -165/7.5 vs. Astros, 2 pm ET, ABC
Many numbers favor Minnesota in this match-up. The Twins finished seven games ahead of Houston in the final regular-season standings, 36-24 to 29-31; Minnesota also won five of its last seven games, while the Astros lost five of their last seven; also, the Twins played 23-7 at home this season, while Houston played just 9-21 on the road; and finally Minnesota is 8-3 with Maeda this season, while the Astros are just 4-8 with Greinke. Also, we rank the Twins' bullpen among the top half-dozen in Baseball this year, while Houston's pen ranks in the bottom six or seven. Free MLB Pick: Twins -165
White Sox -115/7.5 at A's, 3 pm ET, ESPN
Oakland finished one game ahead of Chicago in the standings, 36-24 to 35-25. The White Sox actually owned the best record in the American League a couple of weeks ago, then lost nine of their last 12 games to fall all the way to the No. 7 seed. However, the ChiSox are also a perfect 14-0 this season against left-handed starting pitchers. White Sox hitters ranked No. 2 in the Majors in batting average against lefties, No. 2 in team OBP and No. 1 in team slugging percentage. Meanwhile, the Sox are 7-5 with Giolito this season. Free MLB Pick: White Sox -115
Rays -185/7.5 vs. Blue Jays, 5 pm ET, TBS
Tampa Bay finished eight games ahead of Toronto in the final standings, 40-20 to 32-28. The Rays also finished well, winning nine of their last 11 games, to secure not only the AL East title but also the No. 1 seed in the American League. Tampa also took the season series from Toronto six games to four. The Blue Jays finished well, too, winning six of their last eight games, scoring 56 runs over that span. The Rays played 7-4 with Snell this season, while Toronto played 2-4 with Shoemaker. Tampa also owns one of the top three bullpens in Baseball. Finally, the Rays played a ML-best 31-12 against right-handed starters this season. Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay -185 .
Indians -110/6.5 vs. Yankees, 7 pm ET, ESPN
Cleveland finished two games ahead of New York in the standings, 35-25 to 33-27. The Indians also won nine of their last 11 games, while the Yankees lost six of their last eight. However, New York owns one of the top five lineups in Baseball against right-handed pitching, while Cleveland owns one of the bottom five lineups in that split. Over his last two starts against the Indians, last year while with Houston, Cole allowed three runs and seven hits through 14 innings. Meanwhile, over two career starts against the Yankees Bieber allowed eight earned runs and 10 hits through 8 2/3 innings. Finally, New York played through a bunch of injuries this season, again, but with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge back the Yanks are about as healthy as they've been in a long time. Free MLB Pick: New York -110