Edward Eggros
FOX Sports MLB Betting Analyst

The MLB regular season is over, which means the Wild Card round officially begins on Friday, October 7th.

I will guide you through these playoffs by providing you with daily study materials. This homework consists of previewing each game with some bets that I like for the daily list.

It’s the school bell, which means class is back in session!

Here are my favorite bets for Friday with odds through Bet FOX.

Tampa Bay Rays in Cleveland Guardians (Friday at noon ET, ESPN)

Don’t expect a lot of offense from the series.

Both batting lineups rank in the middle of MLB’s rankings in WRC+ (Rays at 101, Guardians at 99, 100 average). While both pitchers start this best-of-three series with their aces, the more important thing is to get the pitcher to throw more so they can get to the bullpen sooner. Here, “Rays” have an advantage. Outside the strike zone, Tampa Bay’s swing rate is 32.5% and Cleveland’s is 34.2%. That plate discipline makes me lean on Reiss.

CHOICE: Rays moneyline (+100 on FOX Bet)

Philadelphia Phillies in St. Louis Cardinals (2 p.m. ET Friday, ABC)

While both pitchers have done a great job of limiting hard hit balls, the biggest difference between Zack Wheeler and Jose Quintana is how they strike out hitters. Wheeler’s 26.9% is among the best in baseball, while Quintana’s 20.2% suggests he relies more on his defense to get the pitch through. Philadelphia has big questions about its defense, but having Wheeler on the mound won’t let those questions become an issue, at least to start the series. I like Philadelphia to win the game.

CHOICE: Phillies moneyline (-110 at FOX Bet)

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Seattle Mariners in Toronto Blue Jays (4 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN)

Seattle has made a big investment in the Luis Castillohis recently acquired hurler (5-year, $108 million deal). That’s more than understandable given how well he’s pitched for the M’s since the deadline, particularly given how well he’s kept his serve on the field. Since August Castillo’s home run rate to fly balls was 10.3%; last year was 15%. Given how powerful the Blue Jays’ bats have been all season, the only way Seattle has any chance of winning this series is if Castillo has a monster walk, and I have him walk enough to keep this game from scoring points. I like Under.

CHOICE: Under 7 points scored by both teams (-118 at FOX Bet)

San Diego Padres in New York Mets (8 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN)

Just because the Mets came away with a division title doesn’t mean they’ve played poorly down the stretch. Since September 1, the Mets have been ranked second in expected independent pitching (2.96) and third in wRC+ (116). My question to New York has always been about the health of the toughest one-two punch at the start of the innings: Scherzer and DeGrom. While San Diego has been a different ballpark since the start of the season due to their huge acquisitions at the trade deadline, the Mets are even more impressive when everyone is available. Assuming that holds true for this series, I’m banking on the Mets’ line going into this game.

CHOICE: Mets Run Line (+105 at FOX Bet)

The class is closed!

Edward Eggros is a broadcaster/sports writer, sports betting analyst, data scientist and adjunct professor of statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions led him to become a lover of cold kvass. Edward previously worked in local television, most notably the Fox affiliate in Dallas, covering Rangers, Cowboys and high school football. Follow him Twitter @EdWithSports.

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