MLB playoff odds: Best bets for Phillies-Padres, Yankees-Astros

By Edward Egros
FOX Sports MLB Betting Analyst

We’re down to the MLB version of the final four as the League Championship Series are in progress.

The San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies will battle in Game 2 of the NLCS, while the Houston Astros play host to the New York Yankees in the ALCS opener Wednesday. Each is a best-of-seven series.

From a betting perspective, I have you covered.

I will guide you through these playoffs by giving you daily study materials. That homework consists of previewing each game with some bets I like for the daily slate.

That is the school bell, which can only mean one thing:

Class is back in session!

Here are my best bets for Wednesday’s Phillies-Padres and Yankees-Astros games (all odds at FOX Bet):

Kyle Schwarber cranks a solo home run to bring the Phillies’ lead to 2-0

Kyle Schwarber cranks a solo home run for the Phillies against the Padres.

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) at San Diego Padres (Blake Snell), 4:35 p.m. ET, FS1

One of the few things you can point to that suggested the Phillies were poised to make this postseason run is just how unlucky its pitching staff was during the regular season.

Earned Run Average involves the runs allowed charged to a pitcher but Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) focuses solely on what a pitcher can control that has nothing to do with the defense behind him (eg, strikeouts and home runs).

If your FIP is lower than your ERA, many times pitching will enjoy positive regression to the mean. Among all qualifying pitchers, Aaron Nola ranks fifth in ERA – FIP difference, suggesting he’s been pitching better than what his basic box score numbers indicate.

Once again, I want to bet on the Padres not to be as productive at the plate, so I’m betting them to score under 4.5 runs.

As for Blake Snell, he relies on his fastball more than 55% of the time. It can lead to a ton of strikeouts, but it can also lead to dangerous contact.

Against Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and other power sluggers, I’m expecting the latter. I’m leaning Phillies on the moneyline.

Philadelphia Phillies


San Diego Padres


PICK: Padres to score Under 4.5 runs (-250 at FOX Bet, bet $10 to win $14 total)

PICK: Phillies moneyline (+100 at FOX Bet, bet $10 to win $20 total)

New York Yankees (Jameson Taillon) at Houston Astros (Justin Verlander), 7:35 p.m. ET, TBS

The biggest question coming into this series is just how much two weather delays in the ALDS have affected the Bronx Bombers.

The usual routine established during the regular season has had more wrenches thrown at it than Dodgeball training by Patches O’Houlihan. Instead of reveling in a series victory, the Yankees are having to travel to Houston for the ALCS without a day off.

The good news for New York is Nester Cortes and Jonathan Loáisiga combining for seven innings, largely saving the bullpen for the grind of the Astros.

The uncertain news is what version of Justin Verlander the Astros will get. While his regular-season numbers are worthy of a Cy Young, Verlander did allow six earned runs and seven hard-hit balls in his last start.

It will not be as bad Wednesday night, but even if he tapers off slightly, this game is a great opportunity to overrate the chaos surrounding the Yankees’ schedule and overrate the Astros’ rest. I like New York to cover the 1.5 run line (-138 on FOX Bet) and I’m leaning for the game to go over seven runs (+105 on FOX Bet).

PICK: Yankees +1.5 on run line (-149 at FOX Bet, bet $10 to win $17.71 total) to lose by 1 run (or win outright)

PICK: Yankees-Astros to score Over a combined 7 runs (-105 at FOX Bet, bet $10 to win $19.52 total)

New York Yankees


Houston Astros


Don’t forget to turn in your work before the first pitch and get some rest after the game is over, as the Championship Series will feature more excellent opportunities to keep your grades and bankrolls in good places.

Class dismissed!

Edward Egros is a sports analytics broadcaster/writer, a sports betting analyst, a data scientist and an adjunct professor of statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions have led him to become a cold brew aficionado. Edward previously worked in local television, notably at the Fox affiliate in Dallas covering the Rangers, Cowboys and high school football. Follow him on Ttweets @EdWithSports.

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