With the trade deadline well behind us it’s time to start looking for this year’s postseason MLB betting favorites. Sure it may still be August and teams have quite a bit of work before they can clinch a postseason berth but it is never too early to begin ranking the best teams in the MLB. A big part of postseason success, or making it to the playoffs, relies on having strength in the bullpen. Having strength in the bullpen isn’t the same thing as having depth on roster. Depth on the roster means having lots of viable options were as strength in the bullpen is concerned with less options and more talent. So, with that in mind, which MLB clubs have the strongest bullpen, and thus, have the biggest chances of going all the way?
1. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs management proved they know how to put together a championship team by adding Aroldis Chapman, Joe Smith, and Mike Montgomery well before the trade deadline was reached. They join a team that already has the likes of Hector Rondon, Travis Wood, and Pedro Strop who is currently injured but is expected to make a timely return. These additions add strength to an already formidable bullpen. Relief pitching is crucial to winning ballgames and the Cubs have proven to be experts in that area considering that their relievers have pitched less innings than any other MLB club.
2. Baltimore Orioles
Streaks are something sacred in MLB betting and baseball in general, making Zach Britton’s current streak even more remarkable. Britton, the Orioles closer, has not allowed a single earned run since the month of April. Adding to his impressive resume is the fact that he has an eye-catching 0.54 ERA. Having Britton in your bullpen would be enough to make your team serious playoff contenders, but pairing him with Brad Bach may just make this team the MLB equivalent of the Golden State Warriors.
3. Cleveland Indians
After LeBron James ended Cleveland’s championship drought the Indians have been feeling lucky exemplified by their 14-game win streak earlier this year. The Indians decided to revamp their bullpen at the deadline by bringing along lefty Andrew Miller. He joins Cody Allen who has been closing, and doing a great job at it, for the Indians for the past three years. Cleveland’s teams are never sports betting favorites but with the luck the state has enjoyed as of late it wouldn’t be surprising to see this team make a run deep into the playoffs.
4. Washington Nationals
While some might say that the loss of Jonathan Papelbon is detrimental to this team, the majority would agree that this bullpen is better off without him. With Papelbon’s departure making room for Mark Melancon, who’s been stellar ever since 2013, and Shawn Kelly and Blake Treinan providing support for the middle-innings this team is more armed than ever. Throw in better play from Yusmeiro Petit and the Nationals bullpen could be one of the most feared in MLB betting.