MLB Playoffs: Ranking The Three Underdogs in the Divisional Round

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Michael Savio
Baseball news


  • The Twins allowed just one run in the Wild Card Round
  • Arizona outscored Milwaukee 11-5 on the road
  • Zack Wheeler is the only Phillies starter with an ERA under 4.15

The Wild Card Round is already over, meaning the divisional round is about to begin. While we don’t know pitching schedules yet, bookmakers have released odds to win each series, and have established three teams as underdogs to advance.

If you are looking for an underdog best to boost your bankroll this fall, we have you covered. Below we will be ranking all three teams’ chances to advance, giving you everything needed to win big at MLB betting sites this October.

#1 Minnesota Twins

+140 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Minnesota surprised some people by dispatching the Blue Jays in the Wild Card Round in just two games. While their offense was a no-show, their pitching was stellar, allowing just one run. The bullpen was near perfect, easily handling a Blue Jays lineup that is filled with young talent.  While the lack of offense is concerning, some of that can be attributed to their matchups with two good Blue Jays pitchers.

Speaking of pitching, Houston’s starting rotation has been rocky in 2023. They were devastated by injury early on, and ace Framber Valdez has had some issues with consistency. While he has gotten better of late, he is far from the Cy Young candidate he was before the All-Star Break. Rookie JP France has been good, but they don’t have another reliable arm, which could be a big problem against Minnesota.

As much talent as Houston has on offense, consistency has been a big issue. Jose Altuve and Jordan Alvarez are reliable, but we don’t know which version of Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, and Jose Abreu will show up. All three finished the season amid cold streaks, which may not be helped by time off.

#2 Arizona Diamondbacks

+154 at FanDuel Sportsbook

The D-backs and Phillies both have the toughest challenges in the NLDS, but we see Arizona having a better chance of pulling off the upset. They ended the season on a losing note but looked incredible in their sweep of the Brewers. They outscored Milwaukee 11-5, which is impressive considering they faced Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and an elite Milwaukee Bullpen.

One big reason we think this bet is worth considering is that the Diamondbacks offense is hot, and the Dodgers pitching staff is not their strength. Clayton Kershaw’s struggles in the post season are well documented, with a 13-12 record and a 4.22 ERA in 38 games. The Dodgers have two other young starters behind him, which could be a big problem against a hot D-backs lineup.

#3 Philadelphia Phillies

+155 at BetMGM Sportsbook

While the Phillies easily dispatched Miami in two games, they will now meet the league’s best team. The Braves have this season’s MVP winner in Ronald Acuna Jr and the home run and RBI leader, Matt Olson. The rest of the lineup is filled with talented bats, and their rotation is arguably the best in the NL, making them the most likely team to advance.

Zack Wheeler had another fantastic season for the Phillies, but he is the team’s only starter to finish with an ERA under 4.15. Aaron Nola, Taijuan Walker, and Ranger Suarez have failed to deliver on a consistent basis this season. The good news is that their bullpen is solid, and Nola has playoff experience, but they will need he and Walker to deliver if they want a chance to stun Atlanta.

We just don’t think the Phillies have the arms needed to contain the Braves in a five-game series. Philadelphia may be able to steal a game, but it’s hard to see them doing much more than that.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.