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The first day of the MLB Wild Card round is complete. The Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks are underdogs that are in a position to upset the home teams on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins broke their long losing streak, the Philadelphia Phillies powered through with their strong offense, and both teams are favored to close their series.

MLB Wild Card odds are now available for Game 2 of each series:


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MLB Wild Card Format

Four teams — the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros in the American League — have first-round byes. The other eight teams will meet in the Wild Card round from Monday through Wednesday, if necessary.

Dates and games in italics will be played only if necessary in the best-of-three format.

Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays


The Texas Rangers might be entering the playoffs a bit bewildered. In a matter of 48 hours, they went from winning the AL West and potentially having a first-round bye to being a wild-card team and playing on the road. Their assignment is to knock off the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that in the first half of the 2023 season seemed unstoppable.

The Rays were 53-28 (65.4% win percentage) at home and beat Texas two out of three in St. Pete.

Tyler Glasnow makes his second straight start for Tampa in the Wild Card round. Last October, he pitched five shutout innings in Game 2 of the ALWC round, allowing zero runs. On Tuesday, he went five innings and gave up three runs. Ultimately, four errors doomed the Rays in the opener.

The absences of “aces” Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer due to injury led us to stay away from the Rangers in this series. Our original pick doesn’t hit, and the Rays will have to win the final two games of the series to advance.

Wild Card Series Schedule:

  • Game 1: Rangers 4, Rays 0
  • Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 3:08 p.m. ET at St. Petersburg, Tropicana Field, ABC Sports
  • Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 5, 3:08 p.m. ET at St. Petersburg, Tropicana Field, ABC Sports

ORIGINAL PICK: Rays in 2 games

Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins


Before the Twins can win the two games they need to take this short series, they needed to win one. That may seem simple, but for this franchise, it seems like a practical impossibility. The Twins have lost 18 consecutive playoff games up until the Tuesday victory.

The Twins get the benefit of the doubt from oddsmakers because they get to play at home. But, this is not a team that inspires confidence to win a short series. The offense is a one-trick pony; grip-it-and-rip-it built around the home run (league-best 233 HR). The defense ranked six runs below average in Total Fielding Runs. That’s the not-so-good news. But, the Twins do have a deep pitching staff, which ranked No. 1 in the AL in strikeouts, K-to-BB ratio, and was fourth in ERA.

If the Twins are going to win, the pitching staff will need to limit big innings from the Jays. Only low-scoring games will benefit Minnesota.

Wild Card Series Schedule:

  • Game 1: Twins 3, Blue Jays 1
  • Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 4:38 p.m. ET at Minneapolis, Target Field, ESPN
  • Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 5, 4:38 p.m. ET at Minneapolis, Target Field, ESPN

ORIGINAL PICK: Blue Jays in 2 games

Also read: World Series odds | Best MLB betting sites | MLB odds

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Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers


This appears to be the biggest mismatch of the first round. Milwaukee posted the lowest ERA in baseball, helped by the most dominant bullpen. Manager Craig Counsell and pitching coach Chris Hook love to patch together 4-5 pitchers per game, even if it means using an opener. Egos are set aside for the sole purpose of winning.

Offensively, the teams are similar. Basically, the same number of home runs, and both like to steal a bag. This should be an entertaining series, and we liked the Brewers to advance in two games. They could still have a chance after a disappointing finish in Game 1.

Wild Card Series Schedule:

  • Game 1: Diamondbacks 6, Brewers 3
  • Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 7:08 p.m. ET, at Milwaukee, American Family Field, ESPN 2
  • Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 5, 7:08 p.m. ET, at Milwaukee, American Family Field, ESPN 2

ORIGINAL PICK: Brewers in 2 games

Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies


Miami has the most anemic lineup in the postseason, and its defense is even below average. But, the bullpen is a hard-throwing bullpen that averages 11.4 K’s per nine innings. If the Marlins carry a lead into the seventh, they have the arms to fluster the Phils.

The Phillies were able to pull through with 11 hits and four runs in the first game of the series. Every batter in the starting lineup contributed at least one hit. We’ll see if they can close things out on Wednesday night.

Wild Card Series Schedule:

  • Game 1: Phillies 4, Marlins 1
  • Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 8:08 p.m. ET at Philadelphia, Citizens Bank Park, ESPN
  • Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 5, 8:08 p.m. ET at Philadelphia, Citizens Bank Park, ESPN

ORIGINAL PICK: Phillies in 3 games

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About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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