North America’s big four leagues have made a solid return to action post-lockdown. The NBA and NHL are entering their playoffs and NFL teams are returning to training camps in preparation for the regular season beginning next month.
MLB has not made such a successful return in recent weeks. Spectator-less games have not made for an enjoyable television experience while almost 30 games have already been postponed due to COVID-related scares. The playoffs have been extended to allow more teams participate after the curtailed 60 game season concludes.
With that in mind, we take a look at some of this week’s important games and some of the interesting outright bets available at the moment.
Those postponements have skewed the current MLB standings which makes things difficult to predict. For example, the St. Louis Cardinals are second in the NL Central with a 5-5 record, playing less than 50% than the majority of other teams in the league.
The current running order in World Series betting with CanPlay looks like this:
- New York Yankees +350
- Los Angeles Dodgers +375
- Minnesota Twins +1000
- Atlanta Braves +1200
- Oakland Athletics +1300
- Tampa Bay Rays +1300
- Houston Astros +1400
- Chicago Cubs +1550
- Bar +2000
Unsurprisingly, the leaders in each respective league also lead the betting. The Yankees top the charts in the American League with a 16-6 record at the time of writing while the Dodgers sit on a 17-7 record in the National League.
The Yankees have exited the post-season at the early stages in each of the last three seasons but are expected to go much further this year. In contrast, the Dodgers were World Series finalists in the 2017 and 2018 seasons before losing out to eventual champions Washington Nationals in the National League Divisional Series in 2019.
This Week’s Games
Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
7:10PM, 18th August 2020
The Braves host the Nationals at SunTrust Park for the second of a three game series this week. Atlanta prevailed with a four-run 9th inning on Monday night to overcome the Nationals on a scoreline of 7-6.
The two teams sit at opposite ends of the NL East. Last year’s World Series winners Washington Nationals have struggled in the opening weeks with an 8-12 record. Meanwhile, the Braves have impressed recording 14 wins so far this season.
Austin Voth is aiming for his first win this season and his first career win against the Braves from the pitcher’s mound tonight. The 28-year-old has impressed in his three starts this season although he hasn’t been backed up by the Nats offense.
His direct opponent tonight – Josh Tomlin – is much more experienced although this will be his first start of the short season. The bullpen might have a large role to play in tonight’s game.
From a betting perspective, the Nationals are reasonably priced at +110. The Braves are home favorites though, you can back them to win at -135 with CanPlay.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs
8:15PM, 18th August 2020
Another interesting match-up from the National League. The Cardinals are making up for lost time with a flurry of games of the coming days and weeks. In fact, this is their third of a five game series after opening with a double bill yesterday.
Brad Miller hit a two run double in the 7th inning of the opener to power the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory in the opening leg before the Cubs emerged 5-4 victors in Monday night’s seven inning game.
4-time All-Star Yu Darvish will take to the mound tonight for the Cubs which could be enough to see them over the line. Darvish and the Cubs are available to back at -205 with CanPlay while the Cardinals are available at +165.