The Philadelphia Phillies weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays is going to be filled with tense moments.

How it plays out will determine whether or not the 2020 Phillies squad is a postseason contender. Yes, the playoffs are starting next week.

Welcome to the most exciting part of MLB betting season.

The New York Mets, on the other hand, are on the brink of officially being eliminated. As of this morning, their chances of making the playoffs were down to 1.7%.

Over in the American League, the New York Yankees have clinched a playoff spot. The Bronx Bombers head into today’s game as the No. 5 seed. This could change once today’s scores are final.

Basically, with each team still having three or four regular-season games left to play, the standings are tight enough that there is plenty still up in the air.

The good news is there is still time to place a postseason wager. Here is a look at the futures still available via NJ sports betting apps.

What are the Phillies odds of making the MLB Playoffs?

The Phillies are struggling at the wrong time.

When they opened a four-game series against the Washington Nationals this week, every game obviously had postseason implications.

So dropping three of the four didn’t help the Phillies chances. They went from being the No. 8 seed (second NL Wild Card team) to the No. 10 seed.

But the Phillies are still in the hunt.

Wednesday’s 12-3 victory over the Nats, combined with losses from other teams in the mix, increased the Phillies odds of making the playoffs.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, the odds of making the playoffs were closer to 30%. The percentage has increased to 49.6%, but will likely shift again after today’s games are played.

Here is a closer look at where the Phils stood as of this morning:

The first is clinching one of the two Wild Card spots. With several teams still in contention, a sweep of the Rays will put the Phillies two games above .500. But the Rays are hot tickets to win the World Series.

Could a 30-30 record do the job?

Possibly.

Losing two or three of the games will only complicate the playoff formula.

The second option: The Phillies could also get in by overtaking the Miami Marlins for second place in the NL East standings.

Yes, we’re talking about the same team that won seven out of the 10 games during the season.

The Marlins, who hold the advantage over he Phils, enter tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves up a half-game in the standings. Atlanta has clinched the division crown and is currently the National League’s No. 2 behind the Dodgers.

New York Mets likely to miss the cut

For the Mets, a 2021 postseason run is a much more likely scenario at this point. The team is 25-31 with only four games against the already eliminated Nationals remaining.

New York took the field tonight two-and-half games behind the Phillies. So even though the Mets are still listed on the board, those futures bets from months ago can be tossed away.

These days, the bigger headlines are the off-the-field news of Steve Cohen finalizing his deal to buy the Mets.

So the smarter bet here may be the over/under line on how much money New York will spend during the off-season (if such a wager was actually on the board).

Looking at the National League betting field

So bettors who wagered on the Phillies or Mets to win the National League should hold those bet slips (even though the odds of either franchise winning remain a longshot).

The Los Angeles Dodgers, with an MLB best 38-16 record, are still the big favorites. Here is a look at the National League futures as of 10 a.m. ET.

Team DraftKingsFanDuel Fox Bet
Dodgers+130+145+135
Padres +500+500+450
Braves +600+600+600
Cubs +700+750+700
Reds +2000+1700+1700
Marlins +1800+1800+1800
Phillies +2000+1800+1800
Cardinals +1800+1800+1800
Brewers +2000+2300+2000
Mets +3300+3600+3000
Giants+2500+3600+2500

Are the New York Yankees still AL championship contenders?

Based on the current odds, the Yankees are still the American League team to beat.

But there is stiff competition. 

DraftKings Sportsbook has the odds of New York winning the AL crown at +280. However, the Rays (+300), who are up 3.5 games in the AL East standings, are hot on their tails. Plus, they won eight of the 10 games in the season series.

But the Yankees are getting healthy at the right time and have won 11 out of their last 13 games.

Based on the odds, there are several other teams with a legitimate shot of advancing to the World Series.

Here is a closer look at the American League playoff picture as of Friday morning.

World Series favorites and underdogs

So there is still a lot to be decided this weekend.

Teams will be locking in their respective postseason positions over the next several days.

Most bettors will likely defer from putting big money down on the Phillies to win it all. Between inconsistent play and other teams simply being deeper in talent, there are more attractive options out there.

Plus there is the fear of backing a really bad bullpen.

The Yankees, who are getting healthy again, are the more attractive option. Besides being 7-3 over their last 10 games, they have a +47 run differential.

The Dodgers (+122) and Padres (+79) are the MLB leaders in run differential. The Phillies are +3.

Come the playoffs, should the Fightin’ Phils make it, those numbers will not matter. When the 2020 season is on the line, winning the next game is what it’s all about.

And as far as winning it all goes, here are the current World Series favorites from DraftKings:

And you thought Sundays were only reserved for NFL betting.

Bill Gelman

About

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.