The notorious Wild Card round reached its verdict. The Bronx remains risen for the honorable Aaron Judge, while bullpens are already stretched after bailing out starters prematurely and buttoning up with triples. October Baseball is fashionably in season!
Parity is well represented for this month’s MLB postseason amongst big-branded franchises and star-studded, up-and-coming rosters. Odds Shark’s longest shots in the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks ride scrappiness and momentum after this week’s play-in games; the streaky regular-season darling Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians both rest and rust in the meantime. Oh – and the defending champion Chicago Cubs look to curse the league twice over.
Plus, the apple ales are crisp and those autumn unis stay slick. No sport balances out a gentleman’s bravado better than America’s pastime.
You can take the loss in ticket costs six times their September worth, albeit in enhanced stadium ambiance, or better spread that paycheck between cheaper pastrami (RIP Carnegie Deli), home comfort and friendly betting. Either way, the Italian Trojan has you covered with the odds-on stylish picks of the playoffs:
8. Chicago Cubs (+800)
In this stacked bracket, those lovably deplorable Cubbies are back to dismissal under the radar. Chances are most likely that you are unfairly accused of bandwagon fandom this year when donning the classic, vertically striped white with glaring red “C”. Still, their World Series talent is in attendance, and society craves the LeBron duped face.
7. Boston Red Sox (+800)
Once bundled in facial hair and chicken skins, these BoSox manage to enter playoff baseball with a Big Papi void of pizazz, despite formidable youth and strikeout ace Chris Sale. Boston’s jersey game is one of the more versatile and fall-friendly, and perhaps Sale starts custom ripping them himself again…let’s just hope the outfield dancing isn’t their most powerful compilation of moves.
6. Cleveland Indians (+333)
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (+333)
The field is groomed too smoothly to roll with the favorites, no matter their storylines. 2016’s runner-up Cleveland’s pitching appears more invincible this go-around with Francisco “Mr. Smile” Lindor holding shortstop behind the mound. LA’s historic summer correspondingly needs to culminate with hardware for true validation.
Ultimately, enough is bound to go wrong for these championship droughts of 68 and 28 years, respectively. Grant the edge to that Dodger blue over Chief Wahoo any day, but both fan bases are accustomed to wearing sadness on their sleeves.
4. Washington Nationals (+700)
Bryce Harper is down to clown after a sustained bone bruise back in August. His admirable Las Vegas tribute cleats certainly add extra spring to the league icon’s autumn steps. The capital’s clubhouse is assuredly constructed to win on paper, while they clean up nicely in simple grays and reds. Much like the aforementioned powerhouses, however, we’re just waiting for them to eventually disappoint, though with less stakes and subsequent heartbreak.
3. New York Yankees (+900)
A likable underdog of a Bombers club is unprecedented in this millennial age. Hiccups were overcome versus the Minnesota Twins and these relief pitchers supported by the cell-divided heirs of Derek Jeter in Judge and Didi Gregorius aspire to resurrect Pinstripes as the new orange or black or whichever color is in right now.
It’s a tall order, but the 6-foot-7 Judge might just be taller.
2. Houston Astros (+500)
More than three years ago, Sports Illustrated boldly predicted World Series glory for these farm-grown Astros. Nothing could possibly look better atop your mantle than such a cash-in. The juxtaposition of budding superstars Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer in their vintage hipster uniforms – all surrounded by Hurricane Harvey Strong – calls for heavy agreement with this 101-victory dark horse. Still, for the sake of making the sharpest profit…
1. Arizona Diamondbacks (+900)
The snakes’ scariest potential rattled on display Wednesday evening at the expense of the division rival Colorado Rockies. Bullpen ringer Archie Bradley is the signature secret weapon of the postseason, their stacked rotation can interchange roles seamlessly and midseason acquisition J.D. Martinez is protecting unsung staple Paul Goldschmidt admirably in the lineup. More importantly, the D-Backs’ deeply muted yet sleek tones meshed with an array of colors promises to be the most Sprezza on the entire October rack!
Watch for the southwest market to still heat up the diamond the rest of this season…or, you know, Sox and Cubs.
Mike L. // The Guide