When it comes to the MLB playoffs, the National League and American League each getting an extra Wild Card slot will make for an interesting first round of matchups.
What makes that fun is that it gives bettors more options to put together a Wild Card parlay. With four games on the slate for Friday, there are plenty of chances to create an interesting option.
Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays
When it comes to MLB betting odds, there is little doubt that Seattle will be among the sentimental favorites this season.
After over 20 years outside the playoff spotlight, the Mariners were able to work their way into contention. What made this Seattle squad special was its pitching.
Luis Castillo as Starter
The Mariners, who will start Luis Castillo in Game 1, ranked in the top 10 in both ERA and WHIP. Seattle also finished third in the league with 79 quality starts.
Eugenio Suarez leads the Mariners with 31 home runs, while rookie sensation Julio Rodgriguez leads the team with a .284 batting average and has hit 28 home runs.
Castillo, who came over to Seattle at the trade deadline from Cincinnati, has proven to be a steady, veteran presence for the Mariners.
He is 4-2 with a 3.17 ERA since arriving in Seattle. The Mariners are 5-2 against Toronto this season.
Toronto Blue Jays
Second-year pitcher Alek Manoah will take the hill for Toronto’s first postseason game since 2016. This is a good spot for Manoah to build a big slice of goodwill with the fanbase.
He was excellent in the regular season, posting a 16-7 record with a 2.44 ERA. He can also relax knowing that MLB player stats show how excellent the Blue Jays lineup has been.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads a team that features five sluggers with 20 home runs or more with 32. Matt Chapman also has hit 27 home runs.
Blue Jays’ Offense
The Blue Jays were able to navigate through a brutal American League East, which produced two other playoff teams, to reach the playoffs.
Toronto’s offense finished fourth in the league by scoring 4.78 runs per game, which is good enough to back the Blue Jays in any Wild Card parlay.
MLB Pick: Toronto (-136)
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets
San Diego Padres
San Diego was able to persevere through this season despite missing Fernando Tatis Jr., first to an injury, then to a PED suspension, for the entire year. What has carried the Padres has been their pitching.
San Diego has produced the second-most quality starts out of any pitching staff. The Padres also are ninth in the league in WHIP and strikeouts per game.
Yu Darvish as Starter
Yu Darvish will take the hill in Game 1 for San Diego, and the Padres have won six of the past seven games the veteran has started.
Darvish is 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA this season. He ranks 13th in the league with 197 strikeouts. Manny Machado has been at the center of San Diego’s lineup, leading the team in home runs (32) and RBIs (102).
New York Mets
Max Scherzer still amazes me at 38 years old. Backing the Mets’ starting pitcher on a Wild Card parlay seems to be a smart thing to do.
While he is 7-6 in 21 postseason starts, Scherzer has always been consistent throughout his career with various franchises in the postseason. This season, Scherzer has compiled an 11-5 record with a 2.29 ERA and has 173 strikeouts.
Being able to count on a veteran pitcher in Game 1 should ease the players in New York’s lineup.
NL East Division Leadership
The Mets, who led the National League East Division for all but six days this season, saw the division title slip away with poor play down the stretch.
Pete Alonso leads the Mets lineup with 40 home runs and 131 RBIs. Francisco Lindor is another tough presence in the lineup, smashing 26 home runs for 107 RBIs.
MLB Pick: Mets (-155)
MLB Parlay Pick: Two-Legged Parlay (+185)