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Breaking down Favorites, dark horses, long shots to make the World Series

There are 25 possible World Series matchups heading into the 2019 MLB playoffs. We’ve got odds on all of them, and a look at favorite, dark horse, and long shot matchups.

Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammates after throwing a no-hitter during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

We’ve finally made it through 162 games, and the MLB postseason is here. Four teams will get rewarded for their effort this season with a chance to play in the one-and-done Wild Card games.

The Brewers will face the Nationals on Tuesday evening, followed by the Rays and A’s in Oakland on Wednesday. The winners will each run into a buzzsaw in the division series, though, as they will travel to play the Dodgers and Astros in their respective leagues.

Meanwhile, we’ve got the Braves hosting the Cardinals, and Yankees hosting the Twins in matchups that are already locked in.

With the bracket locked in, and 10 teams still alive for a World Series title, here are a few matchups to consider betting on DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Favorites

Astros vs. Dodgers (+260)

There’s no doubt who the favorites are to come out of each league, as you have to lay some juice just to get the Dodgers (-118) or Astros (-112) to win their respective leagues.

While Houston’s offense is comparable to New York’s and Minnesota’s, pitching just separates it from the rest of the AL. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole will battle each other for AL Cy Young honors, and the addition of Zack Greinke really put the pitching staff over the top. The Astros also get to let the Yanks and Twins battle it out, while they face a wild card team, and have home field throughout the AL playoffs.

The Dodgers might not be quite as good as these top AL teams, but they also have much less competition to deal with in the NL. The Braves had a great season, but are a distant +300 to win the league, and are obvious downgrades from Los Angeles from a pitching and hitting perspective — both of which the Dodgers led the NL in. My favorite bet on the entire board for the MLB postseason is LAD -118 to win the NL.

Yankees vs. Dodgers (+500)

We know why the Dodgers have such a great chance to be here, but now it’s time to make the case for the Yankees. While it was a great season for the Twins, this is the Yankees they’ll be up against. The real task is in taking down Houston’s pitching. But if any team has the ability to do it, including a potential World Series matchup against the Dodgers, the Yankees’ offense is the one to do it.

New York is a home run hitting lineup, which is the way you get to those elite Astros pitchers referenced earlier — particularly Verlander, allowing homers at an alarming rate this season. The Yankees also finally have their health for the most part, and will trot out the most dangerous lineup in baseball for the postseason, which hasn’t been the case for most of the regular season.

The Dark Horse

Twins vs. Dodgers (+1500)

While I like the Yankees in this series, you can absolutely make a case for the Twins, who have also been home run machines this season. James Paxton is now injured for New York, who will also be without Domingo German for the postseason. If pitching is a concern, Minnesota has life in this series. The case to defeat Houston becomes much more difficult, but for +1500, the number is right.

The Long Shot

Twins vs. Brewers (+11500)

This number is more to just show you how much can be had by taking a wild card team to reach the World Series. I can’t go all in on the Dodgers, so let’s take a quick look at the red-hot Brewers. For starters, they’ll have to beat Max Scherzer on the road on Tuesday night, so this bet could be dead very early. But if they get through that test, this team will be riding high with confidence.

Again, this is all unlikely, but a small wager on any matchup including the Brewers has my eye. You can take them to play Houston at +2500 or the Yankees at +4000.

Astros vs. Dodgers: +260
Yankees vs. Dodgers: +500
Astros vs. Braves: +675
Yankees vs. Braves: +1200
Astros vs. Cardinals: +1400
Twins vs. Dodgers: +1500
Astros vs. Nationals: +1600
Athletics vs. Dodgers: +2200
Astros vs. Brewers: +2500
Rays vs. Dodgers: +2500
Yankees vs. Cardinals: +2500
Yankees vs. Nationals: +2800
Twins vs. Braves: +3300
Yankees vs. Brewers: +4000
Athletics vs. Braves: +5000
Rays vs. Braves: +5500
Twins vs. Cardinals: +7000
Athletics vs. Nationals: +8000
Twins vs. Nationals: +8000
Athletics vs. Cardinals: +10000
Rays vs. Cardinals: +11500
Twins vs. Brewers: +11500
Rays vs. Nationals: +12500
Athletics vs. Brewers: +17500
Rays vs. Brewers: +17500

Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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