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Forecasting MLB’s most important series’ down the stretch

Let’s look ahead to what could end up being the four most important series during the final legs of the MLB regular season.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 02.07.2022
Forecasting MLB most important series down the stretch

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The 2022 MLB postseason will look nothing like any playoff bracket before as formatting was changed during the extended lockout this past offseason. Six teams from each league will now qualify with the top two seeds each receiving a bye into the Divisional Round as both the NL and AL will feature two sets of Wild Card matchups in a best-of-three series.


Fans have plenty to look forward to in the second half of the year, both on the field as division races heat up, and at the sportsbooks as well. Bettors always have the opportunity to check out MLB lines on a daily basis, as well as hone in on any potential futures and props as it relates to each team’s positioning.


Let’s look ahead to what could end up being the four most important series’ during the final legs of the regular season, and how they could factor into determining the 12 lucky teams that advance in October and beyond.

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Red Sox vs. Blue Jays (9/30-10/3)


The Yankees seem to have a stranglehold, not only on the American League East, but on the AL entirely as well, positioning themselves nicely for the top seed and home field advantage. 


We’re not counting out Tampa Bay by any means, as the Rays have serious playoff experience over the last three years, but their starting pitching depth and lineup have more question marks than Boston and Toronto.


The Red Sox and Blue Jays square off nine times during the second half of the year, with their final head-to-head meetings coming as the calendar flips from September to October. With the division seemingly out of reach for any team not named the Yankees, this second-to-last series of the season should prove to be critical for both club’s playoff aspirations.


Cardinals vs. Brewers (9/10-9/11; 9/27-9/28)

The Cardinals and Brewers have been swapping spots in the NL Central for much of the season, distancing themselves from the Pirates, Reds and Cubs who all appear removed from any contention chatter.


Both of these clubs’ unique second-half schedules feature them going head-to-head with one another in two separate mini series’ consisting of two games each. The Mets, Dodgers and Padres seem to be in a dogfight for those coveted top two slots, so winning the NL Central will be crucial and these four games will play a big role in the final standings.


MLB odds for division winners are always available to play, so it’s definitely prudent to pay attention to the moves these two make during the final three months of the season. 


Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres (9/27-9/29)


A perfect transition from the NL Central to the NL West. The Giants won the most games of any team in baseball during the 2021 season, so it’s not totally fair to omit them from this conversation, but the Dodgers and Padres appear built to win now, but they’ll almost certainly need to go through the other to advance.


These two California teams will square off nine times in September, with the final head-to-head series coming at the end of the month. The winner of the division has an excellent chance of claiming one of the two byes, and if it comes down to this highlighted series, it will make for really compelling baseball.


Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Guardians (9/16-9/19)


These two will still have 15 games to play after the last pitch is thrown in their in-season rivalry, so it’s certainly possible that plenty will be left to decide. However, the Twins and Guardians will collide in an oversized series in the middle of September, going up against one another in a five-game set that could certainly have major ramifications.


We’re not quite counting out the White Sox either, but injuries and inconsistency have marred a season that was ripe with lofty expectations, leaving Minnesota and Cleveland fighting for the divisional crown. 


The MLB spreads for this series and many others in September and the beginning of October will be worth monitoring. Also worth keeping an eye on the NL East, as while the Mets have held off the rest of the division, the Braves and Phillies have made their runs to narrow the gap and important September series’ loom between all three.

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