MLB Wild Card Odds: Marquee Matchups Open Baseball Postseason

Written By Russ Mitchell on October 5, 2021

Three Midwest teams and some marquee MLB Wild Card matchups should make betting on baseball in Iowa especially fun this fall.

Major League Baseball divides up broadcasting rights, so it may take some channel-hopping to follow baseball wagers. ESPN has Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game; then the remaining games are carried on MLB Network, TBS, Fox and FS1.

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Each league has three division champions and those teams advance to the AL or NL Divisional Series. The fourth team in each bracket comes from Wild Card games played Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays await the NY Yankees at Boston Red Sox winner.
  • NL West champion San Francisco Giants await the St. Louis Cardinals at LA Dodgers winner.

Wild Card games and odds

American League Wild Card

  • Tuesday, Oct. 5: NY Yankees (Gerrit Cole) at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi) — 7 p.m. ESPN

National League Wild Card

  • Wednesday, Oct. 6: St. Louis (Adam Wainwright) at LA Dodgers (Max Scherzer) — 7:10 p.m. TBS

The Wild Cardinals

The Dodgers (10656) are trying to become the first team to repeat as World Champions since 2000. They finished a game behind the Giants in the NL West, but LA’s NL squad carries a 15-game home winning streak into Wednesday’s Wild Card game. Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA), the Dodgers ace, arrived at the trade deadline along with all-star infielder Trea Turner.

St. Louis (9072) secured the second Wild Card spot with one of the great charges in baseball history. The Cardinals surged up the standings with a 17-game winning streak, which lasted from Sept. 11 to Sept. 28. Win number 17 locked up the Wild Card spot for the red birds. St. Louis dropped three of its last five games heading into the postseason, however. Wainwright (17-7, 3.05 ERA) will try to pick up the Wild Card win.

Beyond the Wild Card: White Sox and Brewers

Three of Iowa’s bordering baseball states ushered a team into the 2021 postseason. The Cardinals hope to join the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox in the Divisional round.

White Sox at Astros odds

The Houston Astros (95-67) have the home-field advantage as they host the White Sox (93-69) in a best-of-five series. The series opens Thursday on either MLB Network or FS1. Chicago’s AL team had a six-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 5-2 loss to Detroit.

The White Sox haven’t announced their starter yet, so keep an eye out at sportsbooks in Iowa to find out about first-five betting options. We likely know who might be pitching at the end of games, through. Closer Liam Hendriks on Monday was named American League Reliever of the Month in September.

The Astros will send Lance McCullers Jr. (63, 3.51 ERA) to the mound. The Astros won four of their last six games.

Braves at Brewers odds

We know the channel and starting pitchers for Game 1 when the Brewers (9567) host the Atlanta Braves (8873) on Friday.

Charlie Morton (146, 3.34 ERA) takes the mound for the Braves against Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 ERA). The time hasn’t been set for the NLDS opener, but fans and bettors will find the game on TBS.

The Brewers will bring one of baseball’s best rotations into the postseason, led by Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta. Friday’s starter told MLB’s Adam McCalvy:

“The pitching staff is something they kind of talked about in Spring Training as being a strength for us. To be able to go out there and show that as a group is pretty awesome.”

Atlanta has 12 wins in its last 14 games. The Brewers are going into the Braves series on a four-game slide but both teams should be well-rested for a Friday opener.

If results fall just right, fans could enjoy some November baseball. Here’s a look at the MLB postseason schedule:

MLB postseason schedule — American League

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Yankees-Red Sox Wild Card winner (MLB Network/FS1 unless noted)

  • Thursday — at Rays
  • Friday — at Rays
  • Sunday — at Yankees or Red Sox
  • Monday, Oct. 11 — at Yankees or Red Sox (if necessary)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13 — at Rays (if necessary)

Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros (MLB Network/FS1 unless noted)

  • Thursday — at Astros
  • Friday — at Astros
  • Sunday — at White Sox
  • Monday, Oct. 11 — at White Sox (if necessary)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13 — at Astros (if necessary)

American League Championship Series

  • Friday, Oct 15Game 1 (FOX)
  • Saturday, Oct. 16Game 2 (FOX or FS1)
  • Monday, Oct. 18Game 3 (FS1)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19Game 4 (FS1)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 20Game 5 (if necessary FS1)
  • Friday, Oct. 22Game 6 (if necessary FS1)
  • Saturday, Oct. 23Game 7 (if necessary FOX or FS1)

MLB postseason schedule — National League

San Francisco Giants vs. Dodgers-Cardinals Wild Card winner (TBS)

  • Friday — at Giants
  • Saturday — at Giants
  • Monday, Oct. 11 — at Dodgers or Cardinals
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12 — at Dodgers or Cardinals (if necessary)
  • Thursday, Oct. 13 — at Giants (if necessary)

Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers (TBS)

  • Friday — at Brewers
  • Saturday — at Brewers
  • Monday, Oct. 11 — at Braves
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12 — at Braves (if necessary)
  • Thursday, Oct. 13 — at Brewers (if necessary)

National League Championship Series (TBS)

  • Saturday, Oct 16Game 1
  • Sunday, Oct. 17Game 2
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19Game 3
  • Wednesday, Oct. 20Game 4
  • Thursday, Oct. 21Game 5 (if necessary)
  • Saturday, Oct. 23Game 6 (if necessary)
  • Sunday, Oct. 24Game 7 (if necessary)

World Series schedule (Fox)

  • Tuesday, Oct. 26Game 1
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27Game 2
  • Friday, Oct. 29Game 3
  • Saturday, Oct. 30Game 4
  • Sunday, Oct. 31Game 5 (if necessary)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 2Game 6 (if necessary)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3Game 7 (if necessary)
Photo by Jeff Roberson / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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