MLB Series Odds Update: Detroit, Boston in the Driver's Seat
For eight cities and fan bases, October isn't just about football.
In fact, many of the fans supporting the teams involved in the 2013 MLB postseason have lost almost all hope in their favorite pigskin squads. The Rams are young in St. Louis, and haven't shown much in terms of being a contender this year. The Steelers are off to their worst start since the late 1960s, allowing the Steel City to focus solely on their Pirates. Tampa Bay's football team is a hot mess, but the baseball team isn't, although their Game 1 loss in Boston could be considered a small disaster. Athletics fans have the Raiders, but, as well all know, they're the Raiders. Atlanta's seen a rather disappointing start with their Falcons, and Dodgers fans haven't seen a football team in L.A. since the XFL was a thing.
Outside of Detroit and Boston, these cities are holding on to hope that their baseball teams - not football ones - will be playing competitive ball in late October. But of course, those two teams, the Tigers and the Red Sox, are already in the best spot to advance into the Championship Series. At least that's what the numbers say.
Tigers vs. Athletics
Yoenis Cespedes was this close to carrying the Athletics to a late-game victory over the Tigers last night, but Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit completely shut down any chances the A's had in the ninth. Max Scherzer pitched his usual gem, going seven strong innings and allowing just three hits to 11 strikeouts.
Now, entering Game 2, Detroit has a 72.80 percent chance of winning the series, and a 27.2 percent chance to get the sweep. That's what happens when you've got the 1-2 punch of Scherzer and Verlander.
Red Sox vs. Rays
Boston's big win yesterday puts them in a great position to win the series, and like Detroit, they've got over a 72 percent chance of winning the series now. The Rays need a win tonight in Boston, as about 82 percent of ALDS teams that have gone up 2-0 end up winning the series. Fortunately the Rays have David Price on the mound, who was better on the road than at home this season in terms of ERA. He'll have to beat John Lackey though, who's much better at Fenway than anywhere else.
Braves vs. Dodgers
After a big Game 1 win in Atlanta, the Dodgers fell to Mike Minor in his first postseason start. Even still, a split to open up a series on the road has allowed the Dodgers to remain the favorites in this series, having a 53.07 percent chance of advancing. The pivotal Game 3 will feature two inexperienced pitchers for both squads, so there's a lot of ambiguity regarding the outcome. However, keep this in mind: The Braves went 40-41 on the road this year, the only division champion to have a losing record away from home.
Cardinals vs. Pirates
Francisco Liriano showed off his PNC Park dominance against the Reds in the NL Wild Card game, and he'll take the mound again in front of the loud Pittsburgh crowd Sunday versus the Cardinals Joe Kelly. St. Louis' young arm is 10-2 since joining the Cards rotation, but will surely be littered with "KELL-LEE" chants throughout Pittsburgh's park in Game 3. It's a huge game for both teams, as the Cardinals have just a slight edge - 51.91 percent - to beat the Pirates in the series.