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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

2023 MLB Playoff Preview: Wild Card Round

How to Bet Each Series

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Texas Rangers(+130) @ Tampa Bay Rays(-154): Preview

Let's do a little Wild Card Preview, as a treat.

The Texas Rangers stumbled into the playoffs. Their bullpen is a disaster, Their starters are okay and the bullpen is outright bad. They can still bang but outside of Corey Seager, they lack playoff experience and what that pressure cooker feels like. The gift they get for making the playoffs for the first time since 2016 is a trip to the trop.

Is there another team in any sport that can field the 4th best record in their sport, 2nd in their league, after losing 2 all stars and 2 more high level contributors??? Tampa Bay are a bunch of sickos, and they have the best home record in all of MLB. Tyler Glasnow, Zach Eflin, and Aaron Civale are a solid top 3 and the lineup still bangs. I'm not sure how far they can go on the arms of those 3, but in terms of experience, and sheer grit factor, give me Tampa in this Series

Toronto Blue Jays(-114) @ Minnesota Twins(-105): Preview

This is definitely the hardest series for me to pick. Both of these teams feature great starting pitchers. Both of these teams have lockdown bullpens. I am scared of both of them for significant reasons.

Toronto are perennial underperformers. They never seem to be able to lineup their hot hitting streaks and their dominant pitching streaks. They sometimes look unbeatable and sometimes look like the definition of mediocrity. They do have high variance players like Bo Bichette, Vladito, and George Springer, but they need to be able to put pressure on the Minnesota pitchers through sheer plate discipline. I trust Gausman to do his thing. Berrios and Kikuchi aren't as lock down but I still think they can provide a team with a chance to win.

It's now or never for Minnesota. They need to get off the schnide and this is probably their best team in a long time. The record was poor in one score games but they still fielded a positive run differential and never looked truly outclassed by anyone in the league. It's time for Carlos Correa to earn his contract, and frankly Minnesota's offense was awesome in the 2nd half of the season. If they can damage, Pablo Lopez, Sonny Gray, and Bailey Ober if necessary can get the job done.

I know who Minnesota is, I have no idea who Toronto is so I have to lean Minnesota in this series.

Miami Marlins(+170) @ Philadelphia Phillies(-200): Preview

I love the fish here. They were 7-6 against Philly in 2023 and were dynamite in close games. They do have a big advantage when it comes to starting pitching and pitching staff on the whole. Yes, on paper Philly is much much better than Miami. It's inarguable. Miami is playing a great brand of baseball and sometimes you just need to be hot at the right time. 17-9 in September to right a very poor June and July worked and they can bang a little bit now along with the great pitching staff. Jazz is back and playing well and Jake Burger and Josh Bell have been incredibly valuable piece from the trade deadline. 33-13 in one runs games is nothing to sneeze at and I certainly won't be.

Every advanced number screams Philly in this series. I am not a fan of how poor Aaron Nola has pitched this season and I don't know how much he can be trusted. Their defense still scares me a lot. They do have all the experience in the world, they have the lineup that doesn't quit, but man, something feels a little off about this year and I think the fish can get them.

Arizona Diamondbacks(+160) @ Milwaukee Brewers(-190): Preview

This is the series I am most sure about. Arizona took a massive step, but they're just happy to be there. The Airbenders are just going to need 5 runs maximum if they're on, and Milwaukee played solid ball all season long. Take the Brew Crew here.

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