The MLB is upon us! We are finally getting to see the new playoff format for this unique Covid-19 season. Now, as a fan of baseball and sports betting let’s hope this format is adopted by MLB on a permanent bases for the playoffs moving forward. An exciting part about the playoffs is that you can bet on who is going to win the series. This is another layer of prediction and one that you often times can find some good value on a team to win the series.

Here are our predictions for who will win each of the best-of-3 series in the American League. Later tonight, we will breakdown the National League. And remember, head over to @betsmartpodcast on Twitter for more MLB betting picks.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. #8 Toronto Blue Jays

Talk about an interesting matchup. The Rays had the best record in the AL and they playoffs as the 13th best hitting team in baseball and the 3rd best pitching team. Tampa is always an odd team from the outside looking in because on paper they read like a farm team; however they are far from it. Their version of moneyball comes with a treasure trove of young arms. Headed by former Cy Young winner Blake Snell and reclamation project Tyler Glasnow. Their hitters don’t scream, “crush you”, but they know how to get on base and take full advantage of the opposing pitcher. Brandon Lowe is their big bat in the middle of the order that could be a serious problem for the Blue Jay pitching staff.

The Blue Jays were homeless to start the season because Canada wouldn’t allow for US citizens to cross the border during these crazy coronavirus times. They eventually settled into their minor league stadium in Buffalo, NY and it paid off as their free agent signing and deadline trades gave them what they needed to capture the No. 8 seed. Toronto’s pitching staff is headed by Hyun Jin Ryu who seemed to continue what he started last season in Los Angeles, as well as Taijuan Walker and top prospect Nate Pearson. But looking at their offense, they can hang 10 on you before you know what hit you. With a who’s who of baseball legacies led by Vlad Guerrero Jr, Cavan Biggio, and Bo Bichette the Blue Jays are in a prime position to give Tampa Bay a run for their money in the opening round.

Series Winner: Blue Jays (+185)