Baseball Playoff Odds: Series Matchup Set, Dodgers Series Favorites

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Baseball Playoff Odds: Series Matchup Set, Dodgers Series Favorites
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On the heels of Major League Baseball's extended regular season, which saw the Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Texas Rangers for the right to play the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night, the playoff picture is now set for the 2013 postseason.

Here is a quick glimpse at baseball's playoff picture from a wagering perspective:

Rivalry Replay: The Cincinnati Reds visit the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wild Card game Tuesday night, a familiar showdown within the history of this division rivalry. The Pirates and Reds met in the playoffs in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979 and 1990. Pittsburgh has been installed as a minus-130 favorite over the Reds, who will hand the ball to Johnny Cueto, who sports a career mark of 8-2 at PNC Park.

The Pirates are going with Francisco Liriano, who was an impressive 16-8 this season, but 0-3 in four outings against the Reds. The Pirates opened this morning as minus-130 moneyline favorites, according to most sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Tribal Stream: On a nice flow, Cleveland claimed its first playoff spot since 2007 after beating Minnesota for its 10th win in a row. In doing so, the Indians avoided a three-way tie for the American League Wild Card, finishing a game ahead of Tampa Bay and Texas.

First-year manager Terry Francona is on a collision course to meet his former team, the Boston Red Sox, in the American League Championship Series. The Tribe went 1-6 this season against Boston, which is favored to win the AL Pennant.

Blue Man Down: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp will miss the postseason because of swelling in the bone in his sprained left ankle. Kemp has been hampered by the injury throughout the campaign. He hit .270 with six home runs and 33 RBI.

As bad as it looks on the surface, the Dodgers have become accustomed to playing without their high-priced slugger, and went 42-8 without him. The Dodgers open the postseason in Atlanta on Thursday, and have been installed as minus-145 favorites in Game 1.

Playoff rematch: In a rematch of last season, AL Division Series, Central champion Detroit opens the best-of-five division series on Friday at Oakland, which lost in five last October to the eventual pennant-winning Tigers.

Odds, trends and wagering stats courtesy of OddsShark.com.

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