The pennant races are heating up and it looks like we’re in for another exciting finish to the Major League Baseball regular season.
Baseball’s new rule changes have resulted in faster games with more action. Players are showing off their skills and some future stars are leading surprising playoff runs.
Plenty of fan bases still have hope for the post season and betting sites like BetUS are offering great odds for all the MLB teams in the playoff races.
Latest MLB Playoff Odds
To Make the Playoffs Yes No
Arizona Diamondbacks -115 -115
Baltimore Orioles -1600 +750
Boston Red Sox +240 -300
Chicago Cubs +250 -325
Cincinnati Reds -145 +115
Cleveland Guardians +155 -190
Houston Astros -400 +300
Los Angeles Angels +550 -900
Los Angeles Dodgers -10000 +2000
Miami Marlins -110 -120
Milwaukee Brewers -215 +175
Minnesota Twins -225 +185
New York Mets +600 -1000
New York Yankees +195 -250
Philadelphia Phillies -260 +200
San Diego Padres +230 -290
San Francisco Giants -190 +155
Seattle Mariners +300 -400
Tampa Bay Rays -1200 +650
Texas Rangers -325 +250
Toronto Blue Jays -300 +240
**Odds courtesy of BetUS
Sites with the Best MLB Playoff Odds
- BetOnline: Best overall
- Bovada: Top pick for baseball live betting
- BUSR: Best baseball futures
- MyBookie: Best MLB prop bets
- Everygame: Earliest lines
- Xbet: Best world series odds
- Thunderpick: Best for crypto
- BetUS: Great pennant futures
- Sportsbetting: Best for over/under betting
- GTBet: Excellent mobile performance
Major League Baseball 2023 Season Storylines
As the MLB regular season marches towards October, there are a number of storylines that have captivated our attention. There are several teams in both leagues making surprising playoff runs, and just as many teams who looked like postseason locks in April, now struggling to remain competitive.
The pitch clock was supposed to be a big story this season, but everyone adjusted for the most part and the game is the same, only shorter. Similarly, the bigger bases and shift ban were incorporated quickly without destroying the game’s fabric. See everyone? Progress is good!
Shohei Otani is having another season for the ages, and could pull off the rare Cy Young/MVP double like no one has before (Sorry Willie Hernandez). And yet the Angels could still end up wasting another incredible individual season by missing the playoffs. To be fair, the playoff races in both leagues are still completely up in the air. Only the Atlanta Braves, who are running away with the NL East, enjoy a Division lead of more than 3 games.
The wild card races are also impossible to predict and all but a few teams in each league can realistically consider themselves within striking distance of October baseball.
The AL East looks like a two team race between the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays, who have cooled off considerably since their blazing hot start to the season. The rest of the division is lurking not far behind and we could see all three AL wild card teams come from this division.
In the American League Central, the top teams are hovering around .500, and 85 wins might be more than enough to take that division this year. I’ve already wasted too much time on the Central, but I feel obligated to say there is no way more than one team from the AL Central makes the playoffs.
The American League West is a battle between the Defending World Champion Astros, and the Texas Rangers. The Rangers currently lead the division, but it remains to be seen if they can hold off Houston. And while the Angels are keeping Otani and have added talent at the deadline, it will still be an uphill climb just to grab a wild card spot.
We talked about the Braves dominance in the NL east, but the other two National league division races could go down to the last days of the regular season. The Brewers are trying to hold off the CINCINNATI REDS(?!) and rookie sensation Elly De LaCruz in the Central while the Dodgers are in a three team race with the Giants and Diamondbacks for the NL West.
More surprising is the absence of the Padres, Mets or Cardinals in the NL playoff conversations, just goes to show money (or the “best fans in baseball”) doesn’t guarantee success.
This sets the stage for what we hope will be a highly entertaining final few weeks of the season. The number of teams within reach of a playoff spot should ensure some dramatic September matchups on the road to the postseason.
In the next section, we’ll look at some of the favorites to make the playoffs in each league and assess their likelihood of achieving that goal. Later on we will also profile some of the teams that intrigue us, outside of the favorites list.
For each team we profile, we’ll also give you our thoughts on their current playoff odds and where you might find betting value. Let’s get into it!
2023 MLB Playoff Odds Betting Favorites
Until 1969 there was no such thing as the Baseball Playoffs. Only the World Series was contested between the teams with the best record in the American and National leagues. When Major League Baseball expanded in 1969, they split each league into an Eastern and Western Division and introduced a divisional round of playoffs in each league.
Since that time, the playoffs have been expanded several times to the format we currently use in which 12 teams (or more than ? of the league) will qualify for postseason play.
The Atlanta Braves look like a sure thing to us, and we won’t go in depth on them. But we will look at all of the other teams currently “favored” (- odds) to make the playoffs, with our assessment of how much value we see in the current odds.
So without further ado, let’s zoom in on the teams who are currently favored by oddsmakers.
Teams Favored to Make the MLB Playoffs
Los Angeles Dodgers (-10000)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have made the playoffs in each of the last ten years. They are as close to a sure thing to making the playoffs as any team not in Atlanta. After a slow start to the season, they entered August at the top of the NL West.
Due to an incredible amount of injuries, the Dodgers’ pitching hasn’t been at the level we are used to seeing, but somehow the team has managed to squeak out victories. It seems like no matter who leaves in the off-season or which player(s) go down with injuries, the boys in Blue keep on going, racking up wins and Division titles.
The Dodgers are an impressive organization with a blueprint for the playoffs that hasn’t failed in over a decade. They are like the Astros, with fewer cheating scandals. While this makes for thrilling baseball, it makes for pretty boring betting.
Outlook: If you are backing the Dodgers, we suggest looking at their World Series Odds for better value.
Baltimore Orioles (-1600)
All those years of misery and high draft picks are finally paying off in Baltimore. One of the youngest teams in baseball is leading the power packed AL East. The problem is that the oddsmakers have clearly caught onto the Orioles and the playoff odds aren’t as friendly as they were just a few months ago.
With a team this young, there will be questions about how well they can hold up in the pressure of September baseball. While we don’t think they will fold, we DO think these odds are a little bit high for a team that hasn’t been there before.
Outlook: The AL East might still be a question, but this team should be a playoff lock. However, there is better betting value elsewhere on this list.
Tampa Bay Rays (-1200)
This is a team that HAS been there, over and over again with a payroll that’s less than what the Yankees pay their starting rotation (we assume, please don’t make us show our work, if we’re wrong we were exaggerating on purpose).
The Rays currently trail the Orioles by just a couple of games, although that might be different by the time you are reading this. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays end up surging in September as they bring up 15 more anonymous relief pitchers who throw 102 miles per hour.
It’s what the Rays do.
Outlook: Similar to Baltimore, except we like Tampa Bay to win the AL East and they might be worth a look for winning it all. The current odds don’t light a fire under us.
Houston Astros (-400)
Houston has been battling with the improved Texas Rangers in the AL West all season. In most recent seasons Houston has been able to coast through the regular seasons with the division title a foregone conclusion.
The team was clearly diminished from the loss of Justin Verlander, who signed with the Mets in the offseason. Luckily Houston was able to find a perfect replacement for Verlander at the trade deadline when they added JUSTIN VERLANDER from the Mets. Problem solved.
Outlook: Astros Skipper Dusty Baker has a knack for getting to the postseason, and we think he will again this year. The addition of Verlander makes Houston a title favorite.
Texas Rangers (-325)
Texas has actually led the division for most of the season and are loading up for the stretch run. After losing Jacob DeGrom, Texas didn’t skip a beat and they found his replacement (Also via the Mets) in Max Scherzer.
The Rangers have a deep lineup and a good mix of veterans and upcoming young players. Now that they’ve added a big game beast to lead the rotation, they might be in position to make a deep playoff run.
Outlook: The Rangers are for real and we think they will win their division. They have the potential to win the whole thing. We look forward to Scherzer vs Verlander.
Toronto Blue Jays (-300)
The American League East is the strongest top-to-bottom Division in baseball. As it currently stands Toronto is in third place in their division and they hold the final wild card spot. It looks like the Jays will have to hold off their division rivals in Boston and New York to hold onto that spot. Of those three teams, Toronto has the most complete roster.
Outlook: While it might be tough to catch the two teams ahead of them in the AL East, we think Toronto should join them in the playoffs. *Caveat: the Jays SS Bo Bichette was injured the day before the trade deadline and the severity of the injury will affect Toronto’s playoff chances.
Philadelphia Phillies (-260)
After a surprise run to the World Series last year and some great free agent additions Philly was a popular pick to unseat the Braves in the NL East. But early season injuries (including losing Rhys Hoskins for the year), caused Philly to get out of the gate slowly.
Bryce Harper’s early return from elbow surgery helped give the team a lift and they have slowly risen in the standings since then.
Outlook: The Phillies are battle-tested after last season and they know they just need to get into the playoffs. We think the veteran presence will help in the pressure packed final weeks of the season, giving the Phillies an edge in the wild card race.
Minnesota Twins (-225)
The Twins have been the definition of mediocre, hovering around the .500 mark all season, usually a game or two under. This has been enough to keep them in first place in the AL Central for most of that time.
The pitching staff has really been the bright spot, with the rotation overachieving just about as much as the lineup has been underachieving. Luckily for the Twins, they may not need both pitching AND hitting to win this division.
Outlook: The Twins look like the best team in the AL Central, which is making a case for the worst Division in baseball. We don’t see more than one team from the Central making the playoffs, but neither team fighting for the spot gives us any confidence.
Milwaukee Brewers (-215)
What is going on in the NL Central this season? The Pirates were in first place in May, the Cardinals completely collapsed and the Cubs went from sellers to buyers overnight a few days before the trade deadline. We’ll get to the Reds in a minute.
The only team that seems to be what we thought they were are the Brewers. The team is led by Corbin Burnes and the pitching staff and they hit JUST enough to stay near the top of the division. But the youth movement on the Reds might be ahead of schedule and what was enough before might not be anymore.
Outlook: In Baseball’s unpredictable first two months, no Division was as upside down as the NL Central. The Brewers looked to be in control, but the Reds are surging and they look like the better team at the moment. We actually think the Brewers would be a good fade candidate.
San Francisco Giants (-190)
No one will blame you if you kind of forgot about the Giants. After striking out on signing Aaron Judge while also losing ace Carlos Rondon to the Yankees it looked as if the Giants were in for a long season, even by baseball standards.
There was also a lot of noise in the division as the Dodgers and Padres rolled out lineups full of future hall-of-famers and the Diamondbacks showed off their shiny young new players as they competed for the division title. Through it all the Giants have been quietly consistent and they currently hold an NL wild card spot.
Outlook: It’s unlikely that San Francisco has enough firepower to keep up with the Dodgers for the Division title but we think they are on track to keep that wild card spot.
Cincinnati Reds (-145)
When Elly De La Cruz was called up to the big leagues the Reds were 6 games under .500 and an afterthought in the NL Central. Since then they are 16 games Over .500 and De La Cruz has produced more highlight clips than the rest of the National League combined. But it hasn’t just been De La Cruz. The Reds have 4 legitimate Rookie of the Year candidates on the roster.
The Reds young players can look to Joey Votto for guidance and he seems to be relishing the role of mentor. It’s reasonable to have doubts about a team that is depending on so many young players, but Cincinnati has the vibes of a special season going on and we aren’t going to be the ones to crush the dream.
Outlook: The Reds are actually in first place as we write this and we think they have enough to finish the season leading the NL Central.
Miami Marlins (-110)
Florida has two exciting, competitive baseball teams that regularly draw more fans of the away teams than home fans. This would be really embarrassing if the Marlins and Rays met in the World Series as the games might not sell out.
The Marlins offense might be the worst of any team we’ve profiled in this preview. Their best offensive weapon is slap hitter Luis Arraez, who has flirted with a .400 average for most of the season but only has three home runs.
Pitching is a strength but September baseball will test the depth of their rotation and bullpen.
Outlook: There are a lot of National league teams packed together fighting for those wild card spots. We’re on the fence about the Marlins getting in but if they do, keep in mind that they’ve won two previous World Series titles as a wild card…
MLB Playoffs Long Shots (or are they?)
To save you time (and possibly money), we won’t be examining any of the bottom teams (Cardinals, Pirates, Rockies, Nationals, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Athletics). We truly don’t see a path to the playoffs for any of them.
We also aren’t going to profile the Mets or the Mariners, as both teams were sellers at the trade deadline and seem to be packing it in for the 2023 season. If you think they are going to grab a playoff spot you can still wager on them and the odds will probably be getting better. For our part, we are officially distancing ourselves from any Mets or Mariners hopefulness from this point forward.
And now for the teams with… half a chance, possibly? History tells us that at least one of these teams will end up sneaking into the playoffs and once you get in, anything can happen.
Arizona Diamondbacks (+115)
Most pundits knew the Diamondbacks had a number of talented players ready to join the major league roster, but very few predicted the Diamondbacks would be leading the division in July.
While the team has slid a couple of spots in the standings since then, they are still lurking for one of the NL wild card spots.
Even if the team doesn’t make the playoffs it will be a season to celebrate as outfielder Corbin Carroll looks like a sure thing to be the first Diamondback to win the Rookie of the year award. If he somehow can lead the team to a playoff spot, he will get some MVP votes as well.
Outlook: Caroll will have to hit like an MVP to keep Arizona in the race. Ultimately we don’t think they will have enough this season to overtake some of the more veteran competition.
Cleveland Guardians (+155)
The Guardians are currently one game under .500 and yet only one game out of first place in the AL Central. Must be nice. Cleveland has made some trades before the deadline, but it’s hard for us to tell if they were “buyers” or “sellers” based on the players involved.
We’re going to assume they are still going for it because…why not? Terry Francona is one of the best managers in the game and his influence alone might be enough for the Guardians to overtake the Twins for the division. Getting plus odds for a team one game out of a division lead is usually pretty good value.
Outlook: Do we have to keep talking about the AL Central? We’re too distracted by the smell of this division to advise any kinds of wagers. Avoid.
New York Yankees (+195)
If there are still people in the world who think that money guarantees success I would like them to look at the collective payrolls of the Yankees and Mets and compare it to the collective payrolls of the Rays and Marlins. Then look at the collective wins of the same teams. If your mind isn’t changed I give up.
The Yankees haven’t exactly given up on their season, but the lack of trade deadline action by the Yankees might be a signal that they see where things are headed. And it isn’t good. Silver lining is that when the Yankees are this bad, many people are happy.
Outlook: Despite Aaron Judge returning to the lineup and Garrett Cole’s Cy Young-worthy season this team has too many flaws and not enough solutions.
San Diego Padres (+230)
How many all-star shortstops does it take to miss the playoffs? The Padres might be about to find out. After adding Xavier Bogaerts in the winter, San Diego looked primed to unseat the Dodgers in the NL west.
But we’ve heard that story before and much like all the other times this story hasn’t been a happy one for Padres fans. The most likely scenario we can see has the Padres making a mad dash in September only to fall a game or two short.
Outlook: While this team boasts an enormous payroll and is unquestionably talented, we can’t generate confidence in them. Great teams always seem to perform beyond their collective capabilities, the Padres often do the opposite.
Boston Red Sox (+240)
The Red Sox have had a very similar season to the Yankees, the difference is that the Red Sox didn’t have world series expectations this year. We aren’t saying they were the A’s (sorry Oakland, for everything), but this wasn’t the strongest Red Sox roster we’ve seen.
So they have overachieved and have a shot at playing meaningful games in September. Boston didn’t really do much at the trade deadline, which indicates that like the Yankees, the Sox know who they are this year.
Outlook: Other wild card contenders did more to improve at the trade deadline. We don’t see the playoffs, but it might make Boston fans happy to know we think they will have a better record than the Yankees.
Chicago Cubs (+250)
A few days before the trade deadline, the rumors were all about where Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman would end up. Could they both be in the same trade package?
Cut to a couple of days later and both players were firmly off the market and the Cubs actually added to the roster in hopes of making the playoffs.
Perhaps they read our profile of the Brewers that predicted them fading and they saw opportunity. Or maybe they came to the conclusion themselves.
Outlook: It’s nice when a team that is lingering on the edge of the playoffs decides to go for it and the Cubs have momentum going in the right direction. This is a wager we could get behind.
Los Angeles Angels (+550)
One last chance to impress Shohei Otani. That’s how the Angels are looking at the next several weeks. They have committed to this season by adding pieces for the playoff run and maybe they are hoping a playoff appearance will convince the best player in the game to stay in Anaheim.
We don’t think it will, but we have to admit, this bet is tempting us. Several of the teams ahead of the Angels have some issues and could be headed for a slide. The Halos have a lot to play for and something tells us they are going to go on a little run here.
Outlook: Because the Rangers and Astros added premium starters at the deadline, we don’t think the AL west is a reality for the Angels, but several teams currently ahead of them have huge question marks going forward. Because of the potential return, we like this wager.
Why Bet on the MLB Playoff Futures?
Baseball’s expanded playoffs have created more opportunities for postseason play than ever before. And recent history has shown that even wild-card teams can win the World Series.
Here are some reasons why betting on the MLB Playoff odds represents unique value:
- It’s not like it’s the World Series: Only two teams will make the World Series, but 12 teams will make the playoffs. You have a better than 1 in 3 chance of picking a playoff team just by drawing names out of a hat! Imagine how much easier it is if you just watch baseball!
- Baseball is Better: Games are shorter, bases are bigger, and batting averages are higher. The new rules have been met with universal applause, and baseball might be getting its groove back. Get in on the revival!
- It’s fun to fade: The Yankees and Cardinals aren’t the same bullies we’re used to. The only thing that is better than watching them miss the playoffs is to make some money from it.
These sports betting sites have an established reputation as one of the most trusted betting platforms for major sporting events like Major League Baseball.
- Maximum convenience: You can get the most up-to-date lines anytime simply by refreshing the page.
- Exciting sports bonuses: Bookies like Bovada offer compelling sports bonuses with the lowest wagering requirements to convince you to place your bets at their site. You can get generous welcome bonuses, sports reload bonuses, odds boosters, cashbacks, and more.
- Reliable support: In case you need something sorted with your bets and claiming your winnings, you can easily reach out to the site’s support teams through several channels, including live chat, email, or phone support.
You can also check out similar guides:
Guide for Betting on the MLB Playoffs
What Are the MLB Playoffs?
The MLB Playoffs is the 12-team, season ending tournament that determines Baseball’s champion every season.
When Are the MLB Playoffs?
The MLB Playoffs are played in October, following the regular season.
Who Made the MLB Playoffs Last Season?
- LA Dodgers
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Atlanta Braves
- San Diego Padres
- New York Mets
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Houston Astros
- New York Yankees
- Cleveland Guardians
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Seattle Mariners
- Tampa Bay Rays
Which Teams Will Make the 2023 MLB Playoffs?
Nice try. It wouldn’t be sporting for us to just tell you who will make the playoffs, would it?
Plus we don’t know.
What we can say is this season has already provided several storylines that no one saw coming. Will the chaos continue through October? Have the new rules ushered in an age of unpredictability for baseball? And when will I stop asking questions?
Remember, no matter who you are betting on to make the playoffs be sure to wager responsibly and good luck!
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