After Tuesday afternoon’s victory by the New York Yankees over the Cleveland Guardians in the deciding game of their best-of-five Division Series, the Major League Baseball playoff field that opened with 12 teams has been reduced to the Final 4.
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World Series Odds 2022
Here’s a look at the chances for the Astros, the AL’s second-seeded Yankees, and the Cinderella teams of the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies in the NL to win the World Series.
|Sportsbook||DraftKings||FanDuel||BetMGM (Code TODAY)||PointsBet (Code BONUSDAY)||Caesars (Code TODAYFULL)|
|New York Yankees||+350||+260||+275||+300||+350|
|San Diego Padres||+500||+500||+500||+450||+500|
Each team’s largest price is in parentheses.
Houston Astros (+170 at FanDuel)
The Astros, who went 106-56 in romping to the AL West title by 16 games over the second-place Seattle Mariners and then sweeping the M’s in the Divisional round, are seeking a second world title to go with their controversial championship in 2017.
Houston, by far the most rested team entering Round 3 of the postseason, has played only three games since the regular season ended two weeks ago and opens ALCS play at home Wednesday against the Yankees. The Astros’ clinching victory at Seattle was a 1-0, 18-inning marathon Saturday.
During the year, the Astros won five of seven games against the Bombers, including all three in Houston. In the process, Houston’s pitching staff, which had the best ERA in the AL this season at 2.90, held New York hitters to .151 batting average. That was the lowest for any Astros foe this year.
And somehow the Astros did it with Cy Young winner-to-be Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA) pitching in just one of those games, going seven innings and yielding one run in a 3-1 victory. He’ll be more than rested for Game 1.
And the same goes for the No. 2 starter, either Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82) or Lance McCullers (4-2, 2.27) in Game 2. McCullers, who missed the first four months of the season recovering from a strained flexor tendon, worked six innings in Sunday’s victory, allowing only two hits.
At the plate, the Astros had the fourth most homers in the majors (214), with Yordan Alvarez (.306) leading the way with 37. He also added two clutch homers in the postseason with seven RBIs. Then add in Jose Altuve, who his .300 and hit 28 homers.
One more thing: Will rust be a factor with Verlander, who will be working on seven days’ rest? Not necessarily. Although last week on six days’ rest he gave up 10 hits and six runs in his 2022 postseason debut, a month earlier he pitched hitless ball for five innings after 18 days off nursing a calf injury.
New York Yankees (+350 at DraftKings, Caesars)
Of the four remaining teams, the Yankees (99-63) appear to have the roughest journey to win it all.
Not only are they facing a well-rested 106-win team with the home-field advantage in the ALCS, but doing so with no travel day to Houston after vanquishing Cleveland in New York.
On top of that, the Yankees, whose odds were +1000 after falling behind the Guardians 2-1 in the series, will have to open with back-of-the-rotation starters in Game 1 and highly likely Game 2. Manager Aaron Boone went with ace Gerrit Cole on Sunday (110 pitches) and No. 2 guy, lefty, Nestor Cortes, on Tuesday with three days’ rest.
Cole, who beat Cleveland twice in the NLDS, probably won’t go until Game 3 on Saturday unless Boone opts to work him on three days’ rest Thursday.
In their place, Jameson Taillon (14-5, 3.91) will start Game 1, followed by Luis Severino (7-3, 3.16).
In Taillon’s only appearance against the Guardians, he lasted 18 pitches — giving up three hits, two runs and taking the Game 3 loss in Cleveland. And in his sole outing vs. Houston this year, he had the worst outing among the Yankees starters in the series, yielding 10 hits and six earned runs in 5.2 innings.
At bat, no one hit more homers than the Yankees (254), led by Aaron Judge (62 HRs) and Giancarlo Stanton. But in the postseason, that’s about all those guys did, hitting two apiece vs. the Guardians. In their other 32 at-bats, they were rally killers, going 2-for-32.
As a team, New York hit only .181 in that series. Now they face a squad that held them to much lower success rate earlier in the season.
Study up: Yankees vs. Astros odds
Philadelphia Phillies (+275 at PointsBet, Caesars)
At the outset of the postseason, the sixth-seeded Phillies (87-75) had odds of +3000 to win the World Series after squeezing into the tournament with three days left in the regular season.
But those odds shriveled to +1200 after sweeping Central Division champion St. Louis (93-69) on the road in the wild- card round. Then came a stunning 3-1 series win over defending world champ and NL East winner Atlanta (101-61) in Round 2. That dropped their odds to +380.
And now, after beating host San Diego 2-0 in Game 1 of the NLCS on Tuesday, they are listed as the second favorite to take the world title. Not bad for a team that stood 21-29 entering June and behind even Pittsburgh in the wild-card chase.
During the regular season the Phils won four of seven meetings and are vastly improved since then.
Philadelphia’s starting pitching has been stupendous in the playoffs behind ace Zack Wheeler, who worked seven innings of one-hit ball Tuesday, and Aaron Nola, who hasn’t allowed a run over 12.2 innings in his two postseason starts.
In total, the Philly starters, including lefty Ranger Suarez and Noah Syndergaard, have a playoff ERA of 1.17 in seven games.
And the bullpen has been highly successful, too, with a host of relievers who have taken turns closing out games — from Zach Eflin to lefty Jose Alvarado, who saved Tuesday’s game, and Seranthony Dominguez, who sent Atlanta packing in Game 4.
At the plate, veteran Bryce Harper, who missed two months of the season after being hit on the thumb by a pitch from San Diego’s Blake Snell, is hitting .407, second-best among playoff participants. He’s also hit a homer in each of his past three games, including Tuesday’s opposite-field launch that gave Philly a 1-0 lead. That was followed by Kyle Schwarber’s titanic shot into the upper deck in right, his 47th homer this year. After going 1-for-20 in the previous two series, was 2-for-3 Tuesday.
In Game 2, the Phillies will face Snell again with Harper sure to have on extra padding.
Tuesday night: Phillies vs. Padres Game 2 odds and prediction
San Diego Padres (+500 at several books)
The Padres, who opened the postseason as the longest shot from the NL to win the World Series (+3500), is the fifth seed out of the NL but played like a front-runner in the playoffs in giving the heave-ho to the 101-win New York Mets (with their odds dropping to +1000) and 111-win LA Dodgers (dropping again to +325).
Those series wins gave the Padres their first home-field edge to begin a series, against Philadelphia in the NLCS. But that advantage was quickly lost in their 2-0 loss Tuesday.
The Padres wasted a strong performance by ace RHP Yu Darvish, who pitched a three-hitter over seven innings, marred by the homers by lefties Harper and Schwarber.
Now the Padres will be counting on LHP Snell to even the series. But a problem for San Diego is that Philly hit .266 vs. lefties in the regular season, 18 points better than vs. righties.
Plus, Snell (8-10, 3.38) was hammered in his two starts vs. Philly in May and June, losing twice while working 9.1 innings and giving up seven runs (all earned).
But if needed, the bullpen can come to the rescue.
The Padres relievers gave up only one run in 16 innings against the Dodgers and added two more scores frames against the Phillies on Tuesday.
At the plate, the middle of the lineup, featuring sluggers Manny Machado, Juan Soto, and Josh Bell will need to be more productive. In eight playoff games, they’ve had a combined batting average of .212, but with three homers and 10 RBIs.
Wednesday’s game essentially falls into the must-win category for San Diego. Or else the Padres are going to have take at least two of three in Philly over the weekend to stay alive.