MLB Best Bets Today (Betting Experts Share Picks for Wild Card Round Game 1s)

The BetSided team shares their favorite bets for each of the Game 1 matchups.

Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager.
Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager. / Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 MLB Playoffs begin on Tuesday afternoon, and BetSided experts Peter Dewey and Iain MacMillan have you covered with a best bet for each of the four matchups in the Wild Card round. 

Here’s the schedule for today’s MLB action: 

  • Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 3 p.m. EST
  • Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins – 4:30 p.m. EST
  • Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers – 7 p.m. EST
  • Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies – 8 p.m. EST

Iain’s made picks for the American League games while Peter handled the National League, giving you different plays to tail to start the playoffs right. 

No matter how you plan on wagering on these Game 1 matchups, bettors can receive $200 in bonus bets at FanDuel Sportsbook by following a few simple steps. 

If you’re a new user, simply sign up for FanDuel with the link below, deposit and wager $5 on any game to receive $200 in bonus bets. That’s too good of an offer to pass up for the MLB playoffs. 

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction and Pick

  • Pick: Rangers Moneyline

Iain's prediction: "I have faith in the Texas Rangers, especially as +130 underdogs in Game 1 against the Rays. I think that's a complete misprice, and there's plenty of value on the Rangers at their current price.

"Over the past month, the Rangers rank fifth in the NFL in OPS at (.786). The Rays, on the other hand, come in at eighth in that time frame at .773.

"The Rangers also get to face a stumbling Tyler Glasnow, who has allowed at least four earned runs in three of his last four starts. I'm not so sure he's in his best form ahead of this game."

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction and Pick

  • Pick: Twins Moneyline

Iain's prediction: "I have no faith in the Blue Jays to be able to get things done offensively. Over the last 30 days, the Twins offense has been on fire, ranking fourth in MLB in OPS at .816.

"Meanwhile, the Jays have not lived up to their expectations. They have the 19th best OPS over that same time frame at just .725. Not only that, but they've done a terrible job at bringing runners home as well. They're 23rd in leaving runners in scoring position, leaving an average of 3.62 runners in score position per game.

"That's not good.

"Let's also not blindly bet the Blue Jays just because they're starting Kevin Gausman. Toronto is just 16-15 in Gausman starts this season.

"I think Minnesota ends its playoff losing streak on Tuesday."

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers Prediction and Pick

  • Pick: Brewers Moneyline

Peter's prediction: "This may be the most lopsided pitching matchup in the four Game 1s being played on Tuesday. 

"Corbin Burnes is a bonafide ace, and he closed the 2023 regular season strong, posting a 2.51 ERA in his final five starts in September. 

"Meanwhile, Brandon Pfaadt has been pushing a 6.00 ERA all season long, and he has a 5.18 Fielding Independent Pitching as well. He did pitch decently in September – 4.32 ERA in five starts – but he’s not Burnes. 

"That advantage on the mound goes beyond the starting pitching, though. The Brewers ranked No. 2 in Major League Baseball in bullpen ERA this season, an impressive mark. They have one of the best closers in baseball in Devin Williams, and they severely outrank the D-Backs in this category.  

"Arizona has a 4.22 bullpen ERA, so there may not be much of an upgrade once Pfaadt exits on Tuesday."

Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction and Pick

  • Pick: UNDER 7.5

Peter's prediction: "The UNDER 7.5 runs may be one run too many – even with the Phillies’ elite offense. 

"Jesus Luzardo and Zack Wheeler have both been solid this season, and the Marlins struggle much more against right-handed pitching (20th in OPS) in 2023 than they do against lefties. 

"Wheeler has kept the Miami offense in check in his three outings against them – allowing just six runs across 18.0 innings of work. 

"I am concerned about the Miami bullpen (4.37 ERA) keeping this game close, but the Phillies have a great bullpen (3.56 ERA, good for sixth in Major League Baseball). 

"We’ve seen Miami play a ton of one-run games this season, going 33-13 in those contests. If the Marlins keep this close, I expect it to be low-scoring, which may allow the team to pull off an upset in yet another one-run contest."

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!

Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.