MLB Playoff Picture 2021: Latest Postseason Bracket and World Series Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2021

MLB Playoff Picture 2021: Latest Postseason Bracket and World Series Odds

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Four American League teams are within two games of each other with four days remaining in the 2021 Major League Baseball season. 

    The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees split the first two games of their series, and the Boston Red Sox did the same against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

    Those two series between AL East squads will come to a conclusion on Thursday while the Seattle Mariners relax at home. 

    Seattle moved within a half-game of the second wild-card position occupied by the Red Sox with a sweep of the Oakland Athletics. Oakland was eliminated from the playoff hunt in the series that ended on Wednesday. 

    The National League playoff situation got simpler after Wednesday's results. Atlanta's magic number to win the NL East is one after it took its second consecutive victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. 

    The San Francisco Giants have a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. If the Dodgers can't make up the gap, they will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card game. 

Latest Postseason Bracket and World Series Odds

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    American League

    Wild-Card Game: No. 5 Boston at No. 4 New York Yankees

    ALDS: No. 3 Chicago White Sox at No. 2 Houston; Wild-Card Game winner at No. 1 Tampa Bay


    National League

    Wild-Card Game: No. 5 St. Louis at No. 4 Los Angeles Dodgers

    NLDS: No. 3 Atlanta at No. 2 Milwaukee; Wild-Card Game winner at No. 1 San Francisco


    World Series Odds

    Via DraftKings Sportsbook

    Los Angeles Dodgers (+340; bet $100 to win $340)

    Houston (+475)

    Milwaukee (+750)

    San Francisco (+750)

    Tampa Bay (+750)

    Chicago White Sox (+750)

    Atlanta (+1200)

    New York Yankees (+1200)

    St. Louis (+2000)

    Boston (+2800)

    Toronto (+4000)

    Seattle (+12000)

    Philadelphia (+50000)

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4 Teams Alive in AL Wild-Card Race

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Thursday's focus in the AL wild-card race will be on the two games involving AL East teams. 

    The Yankees and Blue Jays play the rubber match of the most important series currently going on in baseball. Boston finishes up its trip to Baltimore as well. 

    Toronto moved back within one game of the second wild-card spot with its win over the Yankees on Wednesday. New York won the first contest of the series. 

    The Yankees are one game ahead of the Red Sox, 1.5 games in front of Seattle and two above Toronto. It is assumed Boston will occupy one of the two wild-card spots since it finishes the season with Baltimore and Washington.

    The Red Sox suffered a scare on Tuesday night by losing to Baltimore, but they rebounded behind Nathan Eovaldi to win on Wednesday night. Boston has the pitching edge in Thursday's matchup with Nick Pivetta going up against Alexander Wells. 

    Toronto owns the advantage on paper in its pitching matchup, as Robbie Ray toes the rubber against Corey Kluber. 

    Ray conceded eight earned runs in 28.2 innings of work in September. The left-hander last faced the Yankees in May on the road. 

    Kluber allowed three or more earned runs in three of his last five trips to the mound. He lasted past the fifth inning in one of those appearances. 

    If Toronto wins, it will tighten the standings going into the weekend. The Blue Jays host the Orioles and the Yankees welcome Tampa Bay to the Bronx. 

    Seattle, who is off on Thursday, hosts the Los Angeles Angels in its final regular-season series. 

    All of the teams in the AL wild-card hunt are expected to win multiple games over the weekend, so one unexpected loss could take a team out of the race. 

Atlanta Clinches NL East with Thursday Win

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Atlanta's series with the Phillies has gone as well as it could have hoped. 

    Atlanta trimmed its magic number down to one by beating the Phillies on back-to-back nights. 

    Brian Snitker's team benefited from strong pitching performances out of Charlie Morton and Max Fried as well as some timely hitting to move within one win of clinching the NL East. 

    Ian Anderson, who is coming off a fantastic start against Arizona, will take the hill in the potential division-clinching game for Atlanta. 

    Anderson allowed two earned runs or fewer in three of the five starts since he came off the injured list on August 29. 

    Philadelphia counters with Kyle Gibson. The former Texas pitcher allowed at least three earned runs in each of his five September starts. 

    If Gibson concedes at a similar rate on Thursday, Philadelphia will be in trouble with the way it is swinging the bats. 

    The Phillies have scored six runs in their last four games. If you go back further, they reached the five-run mark on three occasions since September 17.

    Even if Philadelphia wins on Thursday, it may be delaying the inevitable since it is 4.5 games back of Atlanta with four games to play. 

    The Phillies need to win on Thursday and then hope for a sweep of the Miami Marlins and for the New York Mets to win all three games against Atlanta.