2020 MLB Playoff Predictions and Futures Bets
Using data vital to the success of MLB teams to make informed 2020 postseason predictions and futures bets.
To everyone who trailed my picks and followed my bets during the 2020 MLB regular season, I appreciate you. I finished with a 135-114-1 (54.2%) record on the season, so I hope I made you a little money. It is time to make you some more in the postseason. Here is the playoff bracket:
Once the games finished on Sunday, I rushed to my computer to put together an analysis of all of the playoff teams. In doing so, I factored in how each team fared against their first-round opponents. I then compared the rankings of each category essential to a successful playoff roster (WRC+ for hitting, Starting Pitching ERA, Relief Pitching ERA, Defensive Runs Saved for Fielding). The best-ranked team in their respective leagues would get eight points, the second-best would get seven, the third would get six, etc. (all the way down to one in that category). In order to not weight fielding as much as the other three largest contributors to success, I made the point values half (four for first in the rankings, 3.5 for second in the rankings, all the way down to 0.5 for the lowest ranking fielding team).
Now, I understand ERA is not necessarily a tell-all statistic for pitching, but I cross-checked this with xFIP (Adjusted Fielding Independent Pitching), as well as strength in the back-end of the bullpens to ensure my rankings would be an accurate reflection from what we saw all season from these 16 teams. Here is what I found in total:
As you can see, the Dodgers are the easy favorite for the National League, and FanDuel Sportsbook’s future line for the Dodgers to win the NL is +130. The Rays are the American League favorite, but their odds are +320 to win the AL.
Here is how I expect the playoffs to go:
It seems simple to just have the best two teams from each league playing in the World Series, but after a clear evaluation of the National League, I would expect the Dodgers to work their way to the World Series. The only team I could see giving them trouble is the Reds, which is why I have the Reds upsetting their way to the NLCS. In a similar fashion, the White Sox statistically are one of the best teams in the American League. Had they not epically collapsed the last week and a half of the season, they would be the #2 overall seed in the AL. This is why I have them upsetting their way through Oakland and Minnesota to most likely lose to the Rays.
Here is where the betting angle comes into play. They will not all win, but these are all smart value bets to place in advance of the playoffs on Tuesday:
The Indians have the best starting pitching in baseball and a fantastic relief corps. If they can continue their timely hitting, they can work their way to an AL championship.
Pick: Indians +850 to win the American League
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are a great hitting team that has slumped as of late. They also have about as easy of a road as they could get as a seven-seed. The A’s have a weak starting rotation and average hitting. I put a small bet on them.
Pick: White Sox +1500 to win the American League
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are the second-best team in baseball. To get anything over +600 is a gift on a title. Their relievers alone could probably work their way to a championship, but their top three starters aren’t too shabby either.
Pick: Rays +700 to win the World Series
The Cubs play one of my worst-rated teams in the entire MLB in the first round. Then they can play the Reds, who they have had an easy time with earlier this season. If they can somehow manage to get through those two rounds to face the Dodgers, with Kris Bryant’s bat finally coming alive, the Cubs are a decent play for the NL.
Pick: Cubs +750 to win the National League
After stumbling out of the gate, the Reds finally began to play like the team everyone originally thought they were with a late-season push. They finished third in the NL Central, but they have one of the strongest rotations in baseball. They match up with the second-worst starting pitching in all of baseball in the Atlanta Braves. I think the Reds could win the first series easily. I believe they are one of the only teams who could take down the Dodgers if their bats are awake. After that, who knows what can happen.
Pick: Reds +1300 to win the National League, +2500 to win the World Series
The Reds (+114) and White Sox (+100) are possibly good bets to win their Wild Card Series, but I would take that game-by-game. The Padres were one of my favorites for a title, especially with the Mike Clevinger trade (I bet them +3000 to win the title right before this), but now there are serious doubts about his return. Dinelson Lamet also has bicep issues. You could bet them right before the playoffs start tomorrow if you are confident in those two staying healthy. I will most likely stay away.
I hope this will be a helpful guide to win you some more money. In addition to this article, I have also released a video to break down some of my picks:
Additionally, I will give out picks on Twitter (@cwsdjt) where I see fit. If you are interested in making some money, join me on these! Thank you for following all season long!