MLB Clinch Week: All bets are off

Pretty much all sportsbooks have shutdown their futures wagering for Major League Baseball with just a handful of games left on the 2010 season. It’s funny isn’t it, most people say it’s necessary for Major League Baseball to play 162 regular season games, but when you look at it, 162 games might not be enough to decide who will make the playoffs and who will be the division champions.

In the American League, it’s real simple, the Yankees and the Rays are the last remaining teams to clinch a spot in the playoffs. Boston is all but done, the only question remaining to be answered is who will win the AL East division. That will be decided this week. The Yankees and the Rays are separated by just half a game in the standings and have been playing tug-of-war in the standings for the past week. Forget about the Red Sox/Yankees Rivalry, the Yankees have bigger problems to worry about in those pesky Rays. And while the Bronx Bombers are favored by most sportsbooks including Bodog’s at around 3/2 to win the AL Championship, bettors shouldn’t sleep on the Minnesota Twins. They’ve remained one of the hottest teams in baseball in the second half, and at odds of 10/3 of winning the AL Championship, if they carry their hot play into October their going to make some lucky gamblers a boatload of cash.

The National League is a little more complicated. You can pretty much go ahead and stamp the Phillies in, same with the Reds, but the battle for the last two spots is as close as I’ve ever seen it. The Braves, Padres and Giants are all neck and neck in the hunt for the Wild Card. The Giants and the Padres, they’re separated by half a game in the NL West with the Giants narrowly clinging to the lead. The Braves sit just a half game back of the Padres for in the Wild Card race, so this week truly is the biggest week of the season for these clubs. The Phillies are every bit as good as their 11/10 odds to win the NL Championship indicates but the Reds at 4/1, are also a very dangerous team and whoever picked them to go the distance right now, has to love his chances. Both the Padres and the Giants are playing bottom feeders in the Cubs and Diamondbacks, but unfortunately for the Giants, the Diamondbacks are looking to play spoiler, and they’ve won 2 straight. As for the Braves, they’re playing a decent Marlins team, and it could cost them their chance at the post season, you can bet the Marlins would love to hand their divisional rivals their walking papers. The Braves may have the best chance for a sweep though, considering they’re playing at home where they’ve been outstanding all year long.

It’s nutcutting time, it’s clutch time, it’s crunch time, it’s the time where the MLB separates the boys from the Men, the boys play in the summer, the men play in October.