2023 MLB Postseason Bets: The House Versus Straus

by Mark Strausberg
2023 NFL Futures Bets

If you read the average baseball writer in this country, you'd probably think that Opening Day is the true start of Spring and is absolutely the best part of the baseball season. Every team is full of hope and we have the entire canvas of the baseball season yet to be painted. But I would argue that the better time is when the work is nearly complete. Or at least that's the viewpoint I'm taking here for the 2023 MLB Postseason Bets: The House Versus Straus.

Don't get me wrong. I love the menu of over two dozen teams to choose from and betting the long shots (as evidenced by my Baltimore Orioles bet stubs!). But there's something about having a 12-team field to choose from that makes things nice and tidy.

And we'll get to my picks momentarily. Hopefully, you are an F6P subscriber and are a member of our Discord chats where I have suggested almost a daily a different baseball bet each day. If not, the question is why not? But for those of you who are, you know my recommendations have had mixed results, but if you've been tailing me all season you likely have made yourself a tidy little profit.

And same is true for the last version of The House Versus Straus where I recommended some baseball bets. Yes, I recommended Zac Gallen to win the NL Cy Young and that looks like that's going to be a whiff. But I also selected the no-brainer Acuna to win NL MVP, as well as suggested choosing Gunnar Henderson as an alternate to win the AL ROY. If you placed that latter bet at the time, it was paying out over +300.

I also suggested making the bet for Acuna to go 40/40, which hit. Naturally. I also made the suggestion to bet "First Time Winner", which is as good a place as any for us to start our 2023 MLB Postseason Bets: The House Versus Straus suggestions.

2023 MLB Postseason Bets: The House Versus Straus

*Note that all these props come from the DraftKings Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.

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.5 Unit Bet on "First Time Winner" +400

I made this bet back in April when the payout was +270. It makes sense that the odds have since gone up with now just three teams available to do it--Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, and Texas. Yes, it might have helped if San Diego or Seattle had made the playoffs, but it wasn't like I was banking on Colorado making the playoffs. And San Diego and Seattle have been the walking wounded much of the year.

But let's focus on our three teams that are viable. First off, from a purely mathematical perspective, there is a 25% chance that one of these teams wins it. So at +400, it's a net neutral bet. But I think each of these teams actually has better than their proportional chance to win. Consider the following:

-The playoffs so often come down to pitching. And Milwaukee had the league's lowest ERA this season.

-Again, assuming pitching is key, I wouldn't scoff at Tampa Bay either, as they had the lowest WHIP of any team this season. Plus, I love videos like the one featured in the tweet above!

-Let's assume the postseason is not about pitching and it is about hitting. Well, Texas was number one in the AL in Runs, AVG, and OPS. Yes, they still need to beat the NL rep. And Atlanta and Los Angeles have hit slightly better than the Rangers. But let's just say if the Rangers make it to the World Series, I will happily take the "cash out" offer that should arrive.

I could go into more detail, for example discussing how often lower-seeded teams make a surprise run in the baseball playoffs. But this is far from a sure thing or even a worthwhile value bet. Our EV is basically zero. This bet is more of a "why not?" kind of bet.

.25 Unit Each: Game Ones 4-Game Parlay +727 and Round Robin Triplets +490

Moneylines: Blue Jays (+100), Brewers (-180), Phillies (-162), Rays (-155)

I like each of the teams above to win, but with the exception of the Blue Jays (who I'm the least confident about), the juice on the moneylines are a little too high for my tastes to take any of them individually. However, when we clump them into a three-leg RR and four-leg parlay, I'm willing to take the chance.

And I do like each of these teams to win today. Here's why, in descending juice order:

Blue Jays over Twins

Few realize how good Kevin Gausman has been this year and we might be talking about a potential AL Cy Young winner if it wasn't for a mediocre August. Despite a August ERA of 4.23 and a WHIP of 1.41, he still finished the year with a 3.16 ERA and WHIP below 1.20. He's coming in hot, with 50 strikeouts over his last 40.2 innings and a 2.88 ERA. He'll be going against Pablo Lopez, who has had a good season, but has really been struggling lately. Over his last 40+ innings, he has a 4.24 ERA. Yikes. Give me Toronto to take Game 1.

Rays Over Rangers

Let's keep this simple. You have the flamethrowing lefthander Tyler Glasnow (237 Ks in 180 IP with a 1.08 WHIP) versus fellow southpaw Jordan Montgomery who didn't even strikeout a batter an inning this season and still had a higher WHIP of 1.19. This game is gonna be a nail biter, but I think the 99-win Rays beat the 90-win Rangers in Game 1.

Phillies over Marlins

Zack Wheeler has had a great 2023 season but his career numbers in the postseason are an even better 2.78 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. He'll be at home with the voracious Philly crowd behind him taking on Jesus Luzardo whose postseason numbers are a dreadful 5.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Do I think Luzardo will improve those numbers? Yes. But I do think he takes the L against Philadelphia tonight.

Brewers over Diamondbacks

Arizona's Game 1 pitcher is Brandon Pfaadt, who had a 5.72 ERA and 1.41 WHIP this season and less than a strikeout an inning. Opposite him will be 200-K pitcher Corbin Burnes and his 3.39 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. This line should be juiced like it is. Upsets happen, but I'm taking the Brewers without a second thought.

Speaking of the Brewers....

.5 Unit Bet on Brewers to Win the NL +800

The Braves look like an absolute juggernaut. And I will have a number of bets that include them. If I had to pick one team and only one team to win it all, it would be Atlanta. But chalk is boring! And +145 to win the NL, there's zero value there.

And I don't like the Dodgers this postseason. Something just seems "off" about them, I can't quite put my finger on it, but at +200, that's miserable value imo. So I want a bit of a long shot to balance with my Atlanta and Oriole bets. The Brewers however have gone very under the radar and at +800 to win the NL, I can't avoid that value. And I'm happy to wager half a unit on that.

First off, I think the Brewers have the easiest opening round of any team. Arizona started hot, but cooled down over the summer. They are a team on the upswing, but they really are at least a year away. So not worried about that. After dispatching the D-backs, they will take on the Dodgers, who as I said I don't like this postseason. Either the Braves or Phillies will likely be waiting for them in the NLCS, but I think Milwaukee can make it competitive and eek it out.

Because I do still believe that in thte postseason you need "pitching and defense". Losing Brandon Woodruff was tough, but they still have the aforementioned Burnes and Freddy Peralta not to mention one of the best bullpens in the NL, featuring 36-save reliever Devin Williams. Moreover, the Brewers are tops in the National League with a DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) of 66. Interestingly, Atlanta doesn't have a quarter of that.

Throw in Christian Yelich playing more like "MVP Christian Yelich" and some trade deadline additions that have really helped the Brewers clinch the playoffs, I love this as a sneaky value pick.


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1 comment

Brendan Dumas October 6, 2023 - 11:06 pm

Wow

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