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Updated futures odds, series prices and Thursday bets for White Sox vs. Astros, Red Sox vs. Rays (October 7th)

During the Major League Baseball playoffs, I’ll be giving a daily breakdown that will summarize my thoughts about the future and each game for that day.

On Tuesday I provided my updated predictions ahead of the Wild Card Games. Now that the division round field is set, I can post an additional update for the Pennant and World Series markets.

Below, I’ll also go into how to handle betting on these playoff series, be it on a game-by-game basis or on the series money line, as I use my daily MLB model projections.

I placed two moneyline bets on the ALDS Game 1 pair on Thursday, but first I’d like to discuss my updated predictions and point out the potential value of some moneyline games in series.

Pennants & World Series projections

Looking at my updated predictions, the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Tampa Bay Rays continue to stand out as the value teams entering the playoffs.

Always make sure to look for the best numbers, but my favorite teams from this bunch are the Brewers and Rays. I would continue to target their exact matchup prop (now projected +1270) and sprinkle something on the other three pairings with the Braves and the White Sox. They are the most actionable in the NL Pennant and World Series markets.

The Dodgers are now major World Series favorites, but their odds – especially without Max Muncy – remain vastly overrated compared to their listed odds.

Divisional series projections

Below are my forecast series prices for the divisional round:

I have already placed streak moneyline bets on the White Sox (up to +110) and the Red Sox (up to +133). We will limit these to half a unit per game and continue to increase these positions between games.

The serial prices for the two NL matches are in line with my forecasts (Brewers Listing -143 and Dodgers -175). I’d need a number closer to +190 to bet the Giants, or -150 for the Dodgers. My entry points for the Brewers and Braves would be closer to -127 and +163, respectively.

We’ll be bringing up these games again in the Friday Preview, and I will continue to update this section daily.

White Sox vs. Astros, Game 1

The Astros were one of my early bets in preseason and while I still think they are a better team than the White Sox over a long season, I don’t think they are necessarily better in a short playoff streak.

I’m showing the Southsiders as close favorites in this matchup, with little value in the futures markets. I recently added a World Series ticket to the White Sox and took a minor attack on Chicago’s train money line.

In addition, I also set your moneyline for game 1, as in my projection I show the value relative to the listed odds:

I’m not showing a forecast value compared to the total listed. Still, you can bet Chicago on the moneyline at +115 or better, which is a 2.5% lead over my forecast. And I would consider putting her first five innings (F5) moneyline at +118 or better.

Chicago made the right choice by choosing Lance Lynn to start Game 1. Lynn predicts nearly half the performance of his teammate Lucas Gioltio when it comes to running prevention, and I’m showing a similar difference when compared to his Game 1 opponent Lance McCullers Jr. (2.97-3.58 Model Weighted ERA).

The bullpen advantage in my model points to Chicago (by 0.35 runs per game) while the offensive advantage swings back towards Houston by almost half a run per game (0.47).

Houston has much better defensive stats throughout the season (3rd vs. 28th in Defensive Runs Saved). However, I found that Chicago had addressed many of these concerns. I rate both teams as slightly above average and on par defensively.

The availability of Jose Abreu is the main storyline of Game 1. Regardless of his presence, the Astros must be at home to win this series.

If they lose game 1, I’ll reduce the Astros’ odds of winning to 32% (+213 implied).

You will see a large dose of fastballs (42.5% four seams, 20.1% sinkers, 30.6% cutter) from Lynn. McCullers livened up his approach this season by adding a slider to his arsenal that gave him a pair of top five breaking balls per pitch.

How sick is Lance McCullers Jr.’s slider?!? 😷 It was the most effective slider in all of Major League Baseball when deployed in the heart of the zone, and by a considerable distance. Not bad for a place he’s just started throwing this season, right? @ Lmccullers43 @PitchingNinja pic.twitter.com/xfV0eTkERM

– Codify, Inc. (@CodifyBaseball) August 25, 2021

Red Sox vs. Rays, Game 1

The Red Sox are one of three teams (along with the Giants and Dodgers) that I won’t be exposed to in these playoffs in the future.

Much like the White Sox, I appreciate both the price of the Red Sox series (up to +133) and their game 1 money line (up to +140). I would also look at their F5 money line at +141 or better.

However, in this matchup, I am not showing a value for the grand total, as in the previous game.

Shane McClanahan (4.57 xERA, 3.23 xFIP, 3.62 SIERA) and Eduardo Rodriguez (3.55 xERA, 3.43 xFIP, 3.64 SIERA) were relatively even this season.

While I’m showing the Rays with the better line-up (by 0.36 runs per game), the superior bullpen (by 0.45 runs per game) and the elite defense (third vs. 18th saved in defensive runs), Rodriguez should be able to keep this matchup competitive.

The southpaw was extremely unlucky in 2021 (.363 BABIP; 128th out of 129 qualified throwers, vs. .311 career) while wearing the most anticipated indicators of his career. Rodriguez hit significantly better than his base stats suggest.

McClanahan is one of my favorite prospects in the Major Leagues. Still, there are some warts in his profile, including a bottom 10% ranking in both the hard hit rate (sixth percentile) and barrel rate (10th percentile). .

Note that I projected this line for the Red Sox without JD Martinez, so Boston’s chances would only increase if he conforms.

Even if the Rays drop the first game in this five-game series, I would predict their chances of getting back at 37% (+170 implied) after a game failure.

The bets

  • Boston Red Sox (bet on +140, 0.5 units)
  • Chicago White Sox (bet on +115, 0.5u)
  • Boston Red Sox, Series Moneyline (bet on +133, 0.5u)
  • Chicago White Sox, Series Moneyline (bet on +110, 0.5u)

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