We have about a week and a half left in the MLB season and no idea who will be the the two AL wild-card teams.
We can't exclude the Oakland Athletics or Seattle Mariners, but the real intrigue is the jostling between the three AL East teams in the mix. The Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are all quality teams, and at least one isn't making the postseason.
All three teams won on Tuesday to keep things interesting. The Red Sox are in the top spot, with the Blue Jays in the second spot a game-and-a-half behind. The Yankees are a half-game behind the Blue Jays.
Every day is big in the race and all three are in action on Wednesday. The Blue Jays are at the Tampa Bay Rays, who will win the division, in the afternoon. The Yankees (-275 favorites at BetMGM) host the Texas Rangers at night while the New York Mets play at Boston. Chris Sale is on the mound for the Red Sox in a huge start for him and the team.
And, on the fringes of the race, the Mariners and A's square off in a late West Coast start.
The Yankees and Red Sox face each other over the weekend, which will be good theater. Then the Blue Jays host the Yankees after that. The Yankees get the tough finish against the Rays in the season's final weekend, while the Blue Jays finish against the Orioles and the Red Sox face the Nationals.
The race to the end will be fun. Except for the team that gets left out of the playoffs while a division rival or two move on.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
Anyone playing baseball other than the AL East?
There are 15 games on the slate, and the most intrigue is in the NL West. The San Francisco Giants play a talented but reeling San Diego Padres team, while the Los Angeles Dodgers will be in Denver to face the Colorado Rockies. The loser of the NL West race will likely get a red-hot St. Louis Cardinals team in a wild-card game, and that's not ideal. That divisional race is huge.
Who cashed tickets on Tuesday?
The Phillies came back to beat the Orioles, with Bryce Harper's great slide in the 10th inning being the winning run. Harper has taken over as NL MVP favorite and he has a good chance to lock up the award with a strong final 12 days of the season. Harper is -200 odds to win NL MVP as of Tuesday night, so the value might be gone on that bet.
The AL East wild-card contenders won, as stated before, and the Blue Jays did so as a small -105 underdog. The Yankees and Red Sox won as big favorites. On the West Coast, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers both won to keep the NL West race tight.
What's the best bet?
I think an urgent Blue Jays team is a solid bet. The Rays have a huge AL East lead they don't have a ton to play for. The Jays can mash the ball and they need to win, so we'll take that as the best bet.