Betting the MLB Stretch Run to the 2023 Playoffs

Updated:

The trade deadline is well in the rearview mirror as we enter the last month of the season. Now we’re officially in the MLB stretch run. All Major League Baseball teams have less than 40 regular season games left on the schedule to earn a spot in the 2023 MLB playoffs.

The 2023 MLB Stretch Run is here
The 2023 MLB Stretch Run is here

Half of the six MLB divisions are tight, with the second-place teams within 4 games of the leader. Only the Braves and Dodgers are running away with a division. The Braves are 13.5 games up on the Phillies in the NL East, while the Dodgers are up 12 in the West. The Twins are slowly taking control of the AL Central.

Teams to Target During the MLB Stretch Run

Here are the best teams to target when betting the MLB stretch run this season:

  1. Baltimore Orioles (80-48) – 1st in AL East

The Orioles have been a huge surprise and they’re leading the AL East. The Orioles have been the most profitable team to bet on and they’re +$2380 this season. Baltimore are 16-7 during the second-half of the season. Baltimore are in the top ten in runs per game (4.95), wRC+ (104) and xFIP (4.09).

Baltimore also rank 3rd in bullpen ERA (3.55) and are 32-25 as an underdog this season.

American League Standings entering the MLB stretch run
American League Standings entering the MLB stretch run
  1. Atlanta Braves (83-44) – 1st in NL East

Atlanta are the only team projected to win 100+ regular season games at FanGraphs. Atlanta are +$447 in away games and -$7 in home games. Atlanta rank 1st in wRC+ (123), 1st in home runs (212), 2nd in runs per game (5.68), 7th in runs allowed per game (4.18) and 7th in xFIP (4.06) this season.

  1. Texas Rangers (72-56) – 1st in AL West

Texas lead the AL in run differential (+169) and added Max Scherzer to the rotation at the deadline. Texas are +$640 on the moneyline this season and have been a great bet at home (+$756). Texas rank 1st in runs per game (5.79) and 2nd in wRC+ (122). The Rangers are 14-7 in the second-half of the season.

  1. Chicago Cubs (67-61) – 2nd in NL Central

The Cubs went from sellers to buyers at the deadline. Chicago are only +$126 this season, but they’re hot at the right time, as the Cubs are 16-7 during the second-half of the season. Chicago rank 5th in runs per game (5.13) and 8th in wRC+ (106). The addition of Jeimer Candelario will bolster the offense.

Chicago rank 3rd in games going over the total this season (59-48-5 / 55.1%).

  1. Tampa Bay Rays (78-52) – 2nd in AL East

Flat betting the Rays has been a losing proposition (-$250), but they’re +$253 in home games. Fading the Rays as underdogs has been profitable, as they’re 6-13 as a dog. Tampa Bay rank 1st in runs allowed per game (3.91), 4th in runs per game (5.20), 3rd in wRC+ (118) and 4th in xFIP (3.91).

With the Rays fighting to win the AL East, look for them to be profitable during the MLB stretch run. be sure to catch all of our MLB service plays to earn betting profit to close out the season.

Most Profitable MLB Teams to Bet on This Season

We’re now going to analyze the season-to-date betting records. We’ll identify the most profitable teams to bet on up to this point of the season and the least profitable teams to bet on.

Nine teams have made $300 or more profit by flat betting the moneyline every game. Those nine teams are the Orioles (+$2380), Reds (+$1311), Nationals (+$1251), Rangers (+$640), Brewers (+$452), Braves (+$440), Red Sox (+$420), Tigers (+$351) and Giants (+$313).

The top MLB teams to fade this season are the Athletics (-$2593), Royals (-$2303), Mets (-$2294), White Sox (-$2040), Cardinals (-$2025), Padres (-$1858) and Guardians (-$1162).

When it comes to game totals, the best teams to target on over bets are the Dodgers (62.5%), Athletics (55.2%), Cubs (55.1%) and Braves (54.7%). The best teams to target on under bets this season have been the Rockies (58.6%), Giants (57.8%), Guardians (57.8%), Mets (57.0%), Blue Jays (57.0%), Padres (56.2%), Brewers (56.0%), Diamondbacks (55.1%) and Phillies (54.5%).

Best Baseball Futures to Bet on for MLB Stretch Run

A lot of the value has been extracted from MLB futures betting markets, but there’s still some value to be had as we head down the MLB stretch run. Here’s how I’m betting the MLB stretch run:

  • Chicago Cubs to Win the NL Central (+210)

The Brewers (60-53) lead the NL Central, but the Cubs are only 1.5 games back. Chicago have a +75 run differential, while the Brewers have a -8 run differential. Milwaukee are only 11-11 during the second-half of the regular season. The Brewers are 4-3 in the H2H series currently, but they’ll play each other in six more games, including the final three games of the regular season.

MLB stretch run - NL standings
MLB stretch run – NL standings

I’m also betting on the Cubs to make the 2023 playoffs at +100 odds. Chicago are tied with the Reds for the third wild card spot in the National League, but the Cubs have two games in hand.

  • Tampa Bay Rays to Win the AL East (+190)

The Orioles have a three-game lead on the Rays in the AL East, but there’s still time left to close the gap during the MLB stretch run. The Rays’ next five three-game series are against the Cardinals, Guardians, Giants, Angels and Rockies. Only the Giants have a winning record out of those five teams.

Tampa Bay have a shot at going on a run and taking the lead in the division. The Rays will also need to avoid losing a four-game series on the road against Baltimore in September. Baltimore have the edge in H2H games this season (6-3), but the Rays are one of the most complete teams in baseball.

  • Houston Astros to Win the AL West (+120)

The battle between the Rangers and Astros (64-49) for the AL West division will be exciting. Houston are trending in the right direction. Yordan Alvarez is back from injury and is hitting .361 in his last ten games, plus the pitching rotation improved at the deadline with the addition of Justin Verlander.

Houston are 6-4 in H2H games against Texas and play one more three-game series against them during the MLB stretch run. The Astros are only 2.5 games back and they know how to win.

  • Seattle Mariners to Make the Playoffs (+180)

The Mariners (60-52) are 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays (63-50) for the third wild card spot in the AL. Seattle are 15-8 and the Blue Jays are 13-9 during the second-half of the regular season.

Seattle are winning with pitching, as they rank 2nd in xFIP (3.87), 6th in runs allowed per game (4.14) and 2nd in bullpen ERA (3.51). They didn’t sell at the deadline and are 5-1 in August.

  • National League Team to Win the World Series (-120)

The Braves (+320) and Dodgers (+475) are leading the 2023 World Series futures odds. The Rays (+850) and Astros (+900) are the top contenders to win the World Series out of the American League. If Texas (+900) or Baltimore (+1100) win the AL pennant, it’d be even better for this wager.

A National League team has won the World Series in three of the last four years.

Who Will Make the 2023 Playoffs in MLB

To conclude our MLB stretch run betting update, I’m going to predict the 12 teams to make the playoffs.

American League

Division Winners: Rays (East), Twins (Central) and Astros (West)

Wild Card Winners: Orioles, Rangers and Mariners

National League

Division Winners: Braves (East), Cubs (Central) and Dodgers (West)

Wild Card Winners: Giants, Phillies and Brewers

The MLB stretch run is the best part of the regular season. This season is very competitive and there are still tight races in five of six divisions. Make sure you sign-up to Sports Hub to access all of our experts’ daily MLB picks. Our top seven MLB handicappers have made over $1000+ each in the last 30 days.