Indians, Dodgers teams to beat as playoffs begin

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Now that the Major League Baseball regular season is over and the postseason field has been set, Bovada has put together World Series odds for the 10 postseason clubs.

As far as the wild-card matchups go, the Yankees (-235) are heavily favored against the Twins (+200), with a 7.5-run total in Tuesday's AL wild-card game Yankees RHP Luis Severino is MLB's hardest-throwing starter this season and the Twins are not a team of fastball hitters.

The Cubs won't go down easily because they'll be looking to repeat, which is why they acquired Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15 ERA) to propel their chances.

The AL is better from top to bottom, and if any team besides the Minnesota Twins survives the AL playoffs, that team should have an excellent chance to beat its National League opponent. But getting back to the World Series, though another significant achievement, won't be enough this year - not after owning a 3-1 lead, getting to Game 7, tying it on Rajai Davis' home run and then losing it in 10 innings. DIAMONDBACKS! IT'S THE BATTLE FOR WADE MILEY (who is now a member of the Orioles, but I digress)!

Several years before they moved to Washington, the Montreal Expos ushered in a glorious era in Red Sox history when they traded Pedro Martinez to Boston. It would be cool to relive some of his playoff dominance while also marveling at Chris Sale and Zack Greinke.

Come March and spring training, you start thinking, can they do it again?

This year's edge was 160-140, and that's fairly close compared to other seasons. You're going to want it just as much. No robust history between the teams.

Houston and Chicago actually had a nice rivalry in the old NL Central, but they never met in the Postseason. On paper, they should be the team to beat, just slightly ahead over Cleveland. And Verlander (5-0, 1.06 ERA) really got Houston on the right track (22-8 in their final 30).

Thanks to a lack of parity within the American League this year, the Twins were one of only five teams in the American League to finish with a record above.500, and they were rewarded with a playoff spot. Yes, but there are lots of talented teams in their way. "I felt that when I came here, for sure".

"The team that wins the first game in a five-game series wins something like 75 percent of the time for the whole series", Pluto said. The Diamondbacks have a good pitching staff overall, but look for Bradley to play possibly the biggest role for the staff in the next few weeks.

The race to the World Series has begun, here are the ways each team can be the best team in baseball for 2017. Doug Fister and Sandy Leon are the only notable members of either team that spent significant time with the other. Boston-LA is a legendary rivalry on the basketball court, but not so much in other sports. However, Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Doug Fister have all emerged as solid members of the rotation, and that has helped to carry the Red Sox into the postseason as they've struggled with inconsistent hitting. Cubs righty Jake Arrieta, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and Rays thumper Logan Morrison are on the list of who'll soon be available.

Paul O'Neil, UNCP - BOSTON RED SOX. Is Bryce Harper going to be the pre-injury Harper?

Before Chicago envisions itself in another World Series, it will have to encounter arguably its toughest obstacle: the Washington Nationals. But it's not like many of their fans expected a title coming into this year. Plus, there's nothing wrong with putting Harper in the national spotlight even more. I know that serenity will go away with the opening pitch, but if you're like me, the 2016 World Series changed everything for you as a Cubs fan.

Rematches often suck, but not this one.

Unlike past year, the Indians have postseason experience on their side. These are nearly identical to what the model had for the Chicago Cubs a year ago, as they had a 43% chance to reach the World Series and a 26% chance to end their championship drought.

The Dodgers go into the postseason as the number one team according to their record. Following last year's Indians-Cubs matchup, Fox is well-aware of how fanbases starved championships will tune in and rabidly cheer for their favorite franchise.

Last year, the Cleveland Indians were this close to winning the World Series. For that prediction to come true, they must jump over the first hurdle in the wild card game first. Despite Sale giving his team the advantage, the Astros, with Dallas Keuchel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer, will likely find their way into the ALCS after winning the next three games to win the series 3-1. Like I did with my National Football League playoff picks, I will rank the teams as how I see fit and then go why they will win and why they won't win. "I'm sticking with my heart and my Red Sox".

This is an easy call.

And what a scene it would be if ex-teammates Verlander and Scherzer faced off in the World Series.

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