Is this the new norm in Major League Baseball?
The eight-game MLB Wild Card round card on Wednesday has fans giddy with excitement as playoff games will fill the day, including four contests firing off one-after-another starting at 1 eastern on Wednesday.
Four of the three-game sets could end in a sweep after the Yankees, Astros, Rays, and White Sox won on Tuesday.
While many traditional fans and experts alike feel that MLB will not conduct a March Madness-style playoff bracket in the future, the league is going to be hard-pressed not to expand its recent postseason format starting next season.
In the meantime, Wednesday’s frenzy will have some new storylines by the end of the night, as the four other matchups also get underway.
YANKEES (-122, 8u20) at INDIANS – Sharps appeared to take an early position on Indians and Under but the move seems like nothing special.
The Yankees offense proved its prowess against the Cleveland ace on Tuesday, pounding him early and then continuing to smash out 12 runs on the night.
In this matchup, you could argue that the Indians’ have the pitching advantage in this game both with Carrasco over Tanaka and a stronger bullpen, but how do we gauge the Bombers’ off the charts production at this point.
Also, Cleveland has had some decent success off of Tanaka, but the splits could suggest that those numbers could regress here.
Carrasco’s splits, meanwhile, don’t set up that great. The Yankees aren’t primed to crush again but the numbers don’t suggest that he would severely slow the hot New York bats.
The Yanks were taking seven of every 10 money line tickets in early betting and were being heavily used by the public in ML parlays.
Three-quarters of the totals tickets were coming in on the Over in overnight betting but the money was coming in on the Under at slightly more than a 60 percent clip.
ASTROS at TWINS (-148, 7.5o15) – The Astros sent a message and sent the Twins to another playoff defeat. The only thing the Twins may have in its favor mentally at this point is that Houston was unable to announce a starter overnight after Valdez was stellar with five innings of relief.
Jose Urquidy was a possibility, of course. The lack of information has likely led many pro bettors to wait as there appeared to be very little sharp action overnight.
The loss for Minnesota didn’t deter public bettors from getting down on the Twins again in early betting. The money line cash was reportedly overwhelming on the favorite early.
The Twins have a serious advantage across the board in the game with Berrios, the better bullpen and a far better offense.
However, the Astros have posted some pretty significant offensive numbers against the Minnesota starter, but we know the offense declined drastically this season.
BLUE JAYS at RAYS (-140, 7u10) – Rays were a solid as can be in the opening win but you can argue some advantages once again for Toronto in Game 2.
The Jays may have a slight advantage over the Rays with lefty Ryu over Glasnow, though both are credible options for the start.
And the splits seem to favor the Jays’ bats against the Ray righty, while the Rays’ bats aren’t necessarily set up for success against Ryu.
However, both starters have had some decently extended success against the expected opposing lineups.
Sharps appeared to prefer the pitching, having moved slightly on the Under in early betting. Nearly 3 of every 5 public tickets on the total were on the Under, as well.
Tampa was taking heavy public action on the run line and in parlays overnight but Toronto was taking most of the public’s money line action early on, including nearly 85 percent of the money.
WHITE SOX at ATHLETICS (-122, 7.5u15) – The White Sox went deep to win the opener in Oakland.
Chicago’s offense is no joke and the situation set up perfectly for them on Tuesday.
Sharps came in a bit on the Under in this one overnight but professional action appeared light early. Still, 7 1/2’s were becoming 7s at some shops by morning despite a near-split of public tickets, as nearly two-thirds of the public totals money was coming in on the Under.
The White Sox were reportedly taking overwhelming public money in the early money line betting. However, the Athletics were taking nearly 90 percent of the run line action.
The White Sox may have an advantage here in the splits against Bassitt, while the A’s don’t necessarily sit in a good matchup against lefty Keuchel, although both starters have been pretty decent against the expected opposing lineup, particularly Bassitt.
MARLINS at CUBS (-160, NL) – The total could come Wrigley-high here with expected winds heading out to right to start the game. The Cubs have a real mismatch here really with the Marlins.
The Marlins took some widely-reported steam which could give bettors some sense of value on the favorite.
The Cubs, despite underachieving offensively, still rate stronger than these surprising Marlin bats. And the Cubs surely rate a bit stronger on the mound with Hendricks over Alcantara, and in the ‘pen, as well.
The Cubs were taking well more than 3 of every 5 money line tickets but the Marlins were getting about three-quarters of the money.
The splits are somewhat neutral for the pitchers in this matchup and both have had some reasonable success against the expected opposing lineups.
CARDINALS at PADRES (-160, 8u10) – The real advantage in the series for the Padres is their offense. While their pitching situation with up in arms, so to speak, as the roster deadline approached, they should have distinct edge with their bats against a franchise that has dominated them in the postseason in the past.
The Padres would also rate stronger in the bullpen but could be forced to make adjustments to that staff, especially if they were to lose the opener.
San Diego will rush Paddack to the mound for Game 1 as co-aces Clevenger and Lamet were still being evaluated for postseason participation after suffering arm strains.
Meanwhile, the Padre bats seem to have an edge in the splits against Cards’ lefty starter Kim.
There was some widely-reported steam on the Under in overnight wagering.
St. Louis was taking an overwhelming amount of the money in early betting, both on the run line and the money line, although the Padres were being used more heavily in parlays.
REDS at BRAVES (-126, 7.5u15) – Good starting pitching matchup with Bauer over lefty Fried in this one as wise guys appeared strong on the underdog in early betting.
The sharp action resulted in nearly a .20 cent move as big bettors appeared enamored with the Reds’ supposed advantage on the mound here and it seems like a pretty respectable move.
Certainly, the Braves have the stronger lineup and the splits would seem to suggest that the matchup isn’t terrible against Bauer.
Meanwhile, Fried had a notable start previously against the Reds, really shutting them down, and his splits against Cincy seem really good.
Sharps appeared split on the total overnight but these groups have had no clue recently and might be a total fade here if they had a selection.
BREWERS at DODGERS (-235, 8u15) – The Dodgers have a massive advantage on offense against the Brewers and it was being reflected in early public wagering as L.A. was on more than 80 percent of both the money line and run line tickets.
Not sure the Dodgers have a much of an advantage with Buehler over Suter right now considering how the teams are approaching this game, and sure, the Dodgers have the somewhat better bullpen.
But the right-handed bats of L.A. should make the difference early against the Milwaukee lefty, and the splits for Buehler would suggest that he should show improvement in this matchup compared to his less-than-expected regular season.
The price isn’t fair for Dodger backers certainly but the line certainly reflects the expectations for the L.A. offense in this one.
Sharps moved on the Under in a solid overnight betting move and slightly more than 3 of every 5 public tickets on the total were coming in on the Under.
HEAT (+4.5, 217.5) vs. LAKERS – The Lakers were the public lean in Game 1 but sharps were apparently taking the Heat by around a 3-to-1 margin leading up to game day.