The dust has settled on the Divisional series and the Championship series gets underway in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Jasmine Baba takes a look at the outrights before all the tough encounters...
"Facing the Milwaukee Brewers will be an interesting one. They also played a 163 game but they swept the Colorado Rockies in their division and have had an extra day's rest. To put it bluntly, the Brewers are underrated."
Red Sox take Yankees in four
What a way to get your first post-season win Rick Porcello. After four playoff starts, he had suffered four defeats with two of the decisions going his way. He allowed 14 runs on 24 hits in those four outings and well, it didn't look good facing New York at Yankee Stadium with that kind of history behind you.
But he managed to have a strong start, and pitched five innings only allowing one run. It took a collaborative effort from the bullpen to close it offand it was shaky at times, especially at the bottom of the 9th with the Yankees making a late rally to try and come back.
It wasn't enough as Boston took game four, winning 3-1 in the series and progressing over their bitter rivals to face defending champions, the Houston Astros.
The stars are well-rested
Houston have had an easier journey into the ALCS sweeping the Cleveland Indians 3-0 and have had a day extra rest than their American League rivals as they come into game one. It's easy to see why the Astros are favourites for the AL at [1.73] and the World Series at [3.05].
Red Sox are second favourite in the outright market at [3.8]. That seems about right, as the winner of the American League will more than likely be the favourite over their National League counterparts. The favourite in the NL barely made it through their division during the regular season and both national teams had to play an extra regular season game.
Back to the AL though, and the Astros should feel slightly confident, as two of Boston's postseason games against the Yankees showed up vulnerabilities in their bullpen. Especially after Houston's bats were on fire throughout their series with the Indians.
Dodging the Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are always a firm favourite throughout the regular season, but it's not surprising they've made their away lower in the market this time round. They barely scraped through the National League West, going to game 163 to decide a league winner. They did win their divisional series against the Atlanta Braves 3-1 and looked pretty untouchable. However, you can argue that the Braves were the weakest league champion throughout the NL.
Facing the Milwaukee Brewers will be an interesting one. They also played a 163 game but they swept the Colorado Rockies in their division and have had an extra day's rest. To put it bluntly, the Brewers are underrated.
Right fielder Christian Yelich has had an MVP worthy year for them, ranking first for batting average during the NL regular season and shows no sign of slowing down. In the postseason he currently has a BA .250, which is pretty average but when you take in, in eight at bats, he has two hits, six walks and hasn't yet struck out, collating an on-base percentage (OBP) of .571.
MVP chants and champagne showers for Christian Yelich and the Brewers pic.twitter.com/WpSM0yN8m4? Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 8, 2018
Milwaukee are underdogs for the National League at [2.1] which is worth a bet. You can get a Correct Score on the series and they'll be able to force L.A to game seven. You can get them to win the series 4-3 at [5.6].
The Brewers are [5.7] for the World Series, but I'm unsure if they can take on the Houston Astros in the final. However, this is baseball, and crazier things have happened.
Back Milwaukee Brewers to win the National League @ [2.1]
Back Milwaukee Brewers to win 4-3 in the National League Series Correct Score @ [5.6]
Back Houston Astros to win the World Series @ [3.05]