ALDS Game 1 Odds, Picks, Predictions: Futures Odds, Series Prices For Red Sox vs. Rays, White Sox vs. Astros (Oct. 7)

ALDS Game 1 Odds, Picks, Predictions: Futures Odds, Series Prices For Red Sox vs. Rays, White Sox vs. Astros (Oct. 7) article feature image

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Wander Franco

  • Major League Baseball postseason action continues Thursday, with two ALDS Game 1 matchups taking place.
  • Analyst Sean Zerillo breaks down his updates futures odds and series prices.
  • Check out Zerillo's insight below, as well as two picks from the intriguing American League card.

Throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on both futures and the individual games for that day.

On Tuesday, I provided my updated projections in advance of the Wild Card Games. Now that the divisional round field is set, I can release an additional update for the pennant and World Series markets.

Below, I will also address how to handle betting these playoff series, whether on a game-by-game basis or the series moneyline, while using my daily MLB Model projections.

I have two moneyline wagers lined up for the pair of ALDS Game 1s on Thursday, but first, I want to discuss my updated projections and point to potential value on some series moneyline plays.

Pennant & World Series Projections

Looking at my updated projections, the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays continue to stand out as the value teams entering the playoffs.

Always make sure to shop around for the best numbers, but my preferred teams from that bunch are the Brewers and Rays. I would continue to target their exact matchup prop (now projected +1270) and sprinkle some on the other three pairings involving the Braves and the White Sox. They’re the most actionable in the NL pennant and World Series markets, respectively.

The Dodgers are now significant World Series favorites, but their chances remain severely overrated — especially without Max Muncy — relative to their listed odds.

Divisional Series Projections

Below are my projected series prices for the divisional round:

I have already placed series moneyline bets on the White Sox (down to +110) and the Red Sox (down to +133). We'll keep those to a half unit per play and continue to add to those positions between games.

The series prices for the two NL matchups align with my projections (Brewers listed -143 and Dodgers -175). I would need a number closer to +190 to bet the Giants or -150 for the Dodgers. My entry points for the Brewers and Braves would be closer to -127 and +163, respectively.

We'll touch on those games again in Friday's preview, and I'll continue to update this section daily.

White Sox vs. Astros, Game 1

The Astros were one of my early preseason bets, and though I still think they're a better team over a long season than the White Sox, I don't believe they’re necessarily better in a short playoff series.

I show the Southsiders as a slim favorite in this matchup, with slight value in the futures markets. I recently added a World Series ticket on the White Sox and took a small stab on Chicago's series moneyline.

Moreover, I also bet their moneyline for Game 1 since I show value in my projection, relative to the listed odds:

You can bet Chicago on the moneyline at +113 or better, representing a 2.5% edge relative to my projection. And I would consider betting their first five innings (F5) moneyline at +116 or better.

Additionally, now that the total has come down after opening at 8, I would bet the Over 7.5, up to -110.

Chicago made the proper selection in choosing Lance Lynn as its Game 1 starter. Lynn projects as nearly a half run better in run prevention than his teammate, Lucas Gioltio, and I show a similar difference relative to his Game 1 opponent, Lance McCullers Jr. (2.97 to 3.58 Model Weighted ERA).

The bullpen advantage in my model points to Chicago (by 0.35 runs per game), while the offensive advantage swings back toward Houston by nearly a half of a run per game (0.47).

Houston has much better season-long defensive metrics (3rd vs. 28th in Defensive Runs Saved). However, I noted Chicago had alleviated a lot of those concerns. I rate both teams as slightly above average and on par defensively.

Jose Abreu's availability is the primary storyline surrounding Game 1. Regardless of his presence, the Astros need to hold serve at home to win this series.

If they lose Game 1, I will drop the Astros' chances of winning this series to 32% (+213 implied).

They'll see a heavy dose of fastballs (42.5% four-seam, 20.1% sinker, 30.6% cutter) from Lynn. McCullers revitalized his approach this season by adding a slider to his arsenal, giving him a pair of top-five breaking balls on a per-pitch basis.

How sick is Lance McCullers Jr.'s slider?!? 😷 It's been the most effective slider in all of Major League Baseball when used in the heart of the zone and by a considerable margin. Not bad for a pitch he just started throwing this season, huh?

— Codify, Inc. (@CodifyBaseball) August 25, 2021

Red Sox vs. Rays, Game 1

The Red Sox are one of three teams (along with the Giants and Dodgers) I don't have future exposure to in these playoffs.

Similar to the White Sox, I project value both the Red Sox series price (down to +133), along with their Game 1 moneyline (down to +130). I would also consider their F5 moneyline at +129 or better.

However, I don't show value on the total in this matchup, like the previous game.

Shane McClanahan (4.57 xERA, 3.23 xFIP, 3.62 SIERA) and Eduardo Rodriguez (3.55 xERA, 3.43 xFIP, 3.64 SIERA) were relative equals this season.

While I do show the Rays with the better lineup (by 0.36 runs per game), superior bullpen (by 0.45 runs per game) and elite defense (third vs. 18th in Defensive Runs Saved), Rodriguez should be able to keep this matchup competitive.

The southpaw was extremely unlucky in 2021 (.363 BABIP; 128th out of 129 qualified pitchers, vs. .311 career) while sporting the best-expected indicators of his career. Rodriguez pitched significantly better than his base stats might indicate.

McClanahan is among my favorite prospects in the major leagues. Still, there are some warts in his profile, including a bottom 10% ranking in both hard-hit rate (sixth percentile) and barrel rate (10th percentile), On the rare occasions when batters do square him up, McClanahan gives up loud contact.

Note that I projected this line for the Red Sox without J.D. Martinez, so Boston's chances would only increase if he does suit up.

Even if the Rays drop the first game in this five-game series, I would still project their chances at 37% (+170 implied) to come back from a game down.

The Bets

  • Boston Red Sox (bet to +130, 0.5 units)
  • Boston Red Sox, First Five Innings (wait for +130)
  • Boston Red Sox, Series Moneyline (bet to +133, 0.5u)
  • Chicago White Sox (bet to +113, 0.5u)
  • Chicago White Sox, First Five Innings (bet to +116, 0.5u)
  • Chicago White Sox, Series Moneyline (bet to +110, 0.5u)
  • White Sox / Astros, Over 7.5 (bet to -110)
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