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What the Expanded MLB Playoffs Mean for Bettors

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/28/2020

2020 has been a crazy year for all involved, and after a post-Opening Weekend COVID-19 breakout threatened to shut down MLB's nascent 60-game expedition, the prospects of the much-vaunted playoffs seem so distant.

But fear not baseball fans, beyond viral outbreaks, breakouts of hot bats and wicked pitching are sure to follow in what will undoubtedly be an October to remember.

So what does an expanded 16-team playoff mean for smarter bettors? 

More Volatility 

A shorter regular season, larger postseason, and more craziness. Undoubtedly, that will be the byproduct of this season's strange schedule, an occurrence that will be a boon for bettors that love the dogs.

By granting 16 teams access into the playoffs, it will allow for an unprecedented opportunity for the lowliest of dregs in MLB to potentially get their chance at October glory.

When you introduce a bigger field, you introduce more variables, and more variables mean more outcomes for a top online sportsbook. Not unlike college basketball's NCAA Tournament, an expanded field means opportunities for underdogs to go on crazy runs. 

This increased potential for chaos means a greater level of volatility, and it means that if you're looking to score big on longer odds, volatility is your friend.

And when it comes to favorites, a similar sentiment holds true.

Long series give better teams a greater opportunity to succeed. Volatility is great for underdogs because anyone can have a day of hot hitting, or even the greatest aces can have a bad day on the mound.

The more "coin flips" you give teams, especially better teams, the greater likelihood the odds-on outcomes will play out. This is shaping up to be an MLB season to buy sports betting picks. 

Top-Heavy Matchups 

Because of the expanded playoff field, the top-heavy teams have essentially been given guaranteed spots in the postseason. Of course, games have to be played, but it's very unlikely that those with high-level projections for success will actually miss the playoffs entirely.

Take, for example, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros. Both teams, although they were undoubtedly heavy favorites at America’s Bookie before the season began, are now mortal locks to make the postseason.

By jamming in more bottom-dwelling teams or even fringe scrappers, the playoffs are now an equal opportunity for almost everyone to get in on the action. It essentially guarantees that bloated favorites like the Astros and Yankees will put on a show for fans hoping to see Cinderella slay a giant.

While this is going to be a great opportunity for casual fans to enjoy a greater level of chaos, it means that handicappers are now more focused than ever on ensuring that even those fringe teams far and away exceed expectations.

Some of the chalkier teams, like the Boston Red Sox and aforementioned Yankees and Astros, will make their way. But some usually overlooked teams, like the Colorado Rockies or even an upstart Marlins team, are off to solid starts to the season. This means they very well could get hot, stay hot, and end up in the outcome for one of the wildest MLB seasons ever.

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