The 2019 MLB postseason is underway, and sportsbooks are offering more ways to bet on the playoffs than ever before.
Below we take a look at the live betting odds for the game on Oct. 18 along with analysis from our resident MLB expert Nate Weitzer.
Live MLB betting odds
Houston Astros at New York Yankees
Pitching Matchup: Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA) vs. James Paxton (15-6, 3.82 ERA)
Starting Game 4 of the ALDS in Tampa seemed to throw Verlander off his rhythm to an extent, as he was lucky to only allow 2 ER with 15 fly ball outs in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Yankees. Perhaps the extra day of rest due to Wednesday’s postponement will help him come out strong in Game 5. Verlander has been at his best with a 3.12 ERA and .224 BAA over 247 career appearances on 4 days of rest. The 36-year-old RHP went 11-2 with a .164 BAA on the road this season.
Paxton labored through 2.1 innings in Game 2, throwing 51 pitches with 2 BB before giving way to Yankees ace middle reliever Chad Green. The hard-throwing LHP wasn’t necessarily much better in his postseason debut against Minnesota in the ALDS, allowing 3 and 2 ER over 4.2 IP while once again letting his pitch count (86) creep up. Paxton was better with a 3.35 ERA and .211 BAA at home this year, and hit his stride down the stretch with a 1.05 ERA and .156 BAA over four September starts.
Pitcher vs. projected lineups
While Verlander dominated the Yankees lineup in a June 23 start at Yankee Stadium, he made one mistake in the fifth inning by serving up a 3-run HR to DJ LeMahieu. In an April home start, it was Aaron Judge taking Verlander deep in the fifth with LeMahieu also providing a key double. The long ball was his Achilles heel this season, as Verlander coughed up a 1.86 HR/9 ratio in RvR matchups on the road. However, he trimmed down to a 0.93 HR/9 ratio and ramped up to a 13.73 K/9 ratio after the ASB. Current Yanks are just 39-for-210 (.186) with 8 HRs in their careers against Verlander. LeMahieu and Didi Gregorious have had success, while Edwin Encarnacion is 5-for-41, but has 2 dingers. The rest of the Yankees have struggled against the CY Young candidate.
Current Astros are 61-for-228 (.268) with 7 HRs and 23 BB to 58 Ks in their careers against Paxton. They struggled against the 30-year-old southpaw when he was with the Mariners, but tagged him for 6 ER on 13 hits and 6 BB over two meetings during the 2019 season. Houston led the Majors with a collective .363 wOBA against LHP this season and a 10% BB Rate when playing on the road. The Astros righty-heavy lineup has the tools to chase Paxton early once again.
The Astros won Game 4, 8-3, to take a 3-1 series lead. Houston won the regular-season series, 4-3.
Additional game notes
- The Yankees finished second in the A.L. with 143 HRs at home this season.
- Giancarlo Stanton has been inactive the past two games with a quad strain.
- The Astros’ pitching staff posted a league-best 9.93 K/9 ratio on the road.
- The Yankees’ pitching staff posted the third-best ERA (3.72) in the A.L. at home this season.
- Five of the seven meetings between these teams during the regular season exceeded the projected point total. Only one of the first four ALCS games have exceeded the point total.
- The Yankees went 50-33 against the run line at home this season.
- Houston posted a league-best 76-34 record after wins.
- The Yankees were 38-21 following a loss.
- Temperatures are expected to be in the low 50s with winds blowing out to RF.
Best MLB betting sites
Who is favored to win the World Series?
Currently, the Astros are the favorites to win the World Series after finishing the regular season with 107 wins to secure home field advantage throughout the postseason. The Yankees aren’t far behind after also clinching a spot in the ALCS. The Nationals will represent the National League and are awaiting the winner of the ALCS to begin the World Series.
You can find the current odds for MLB World Series futures below.
How to bet the MLB Playoffs
There are a few ways to bet on the MLB Playoffs and not all of them are as simple as which team will win and lose. Picking the winner of a game is called betting the moneyline and the odds for each team are listed in correspondence with their chances to win according to the sportsbooks. For example, the Dodgers might be listed as -175 if they have Clayton Kershaw pitching on a given night, whereas their opponent might have +150 odds. This means that betting $175 on the Dodgers to win would only pay out $100.
If you want better odds on the better team, you’ll likely have to bet the run line. This is similar to a point spread in other sports in that the winning team will have to “cover” a certain number. The Dodgers might be listed as -1.5 on the run line if their ace is going, so they would have to win by two runs or more to pay out. There are also odds on a run line which will look something like this: -1.5 (+150). That means, on a $100 bet, you would win $150 dollars (plus your original $100 bet) if your team won by more than two runs.
Don’t feel confident about picking a winner? Then you can pick the type of game by betting over/under a projected run total. In baseball, the total is usually between 6 and 10 runs, although great offensive teams playing in smaller ballparks can top 10 or 11 runs at times. The number will be usually be set as “8.5” indicating that 9 combined runs would pay the Over and 8 or fewer combined runs pays the Under.
Don’t want to be on the game result at all? Then you can bet on the prospects of individual players in the form of proposition bets. These “Prop” bets are similar to the run totals, but for individual performances. So, if Justin Verlander is starting for Houston, you might be able to bet on going Over or Under a projected total of 10.5 strikeouts. There also Yes/No propositions such as, “Will Nelson Cruz hit a Home Run?” and the odds will correspond to the more likely outcome, so that No (-220) pays out less than taking a chance on Yes (+210) he will homer.
Finally, bettors have the option of wagering on the overall result of a series, or the entire season by backing a World Series champion. These futures bets can be placed during the preseason, regular season, or during the postseason, although odds may come off the board while games are in action and change the following morning based on results.
There are also specific series lines where bettors can predict the number of games required for a team to advance, bet against a spread of how many games that will take, or bet the exact series result, with varying odds.