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MLB Wildcard Games Betting Insights

The Wildcard teams fought hard for a chance to make the playoffs this year, and their reward is a winner take all game that determines which teams will move on to play in the ALDC and NLDS.

The Oakland Athletics will travel to Kansas City, to take on the Kansas City Royals, and the winner moves on to play the Los Angeles Angels.

Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, September 30, 8:07 PM. TBS.

The Oakland A’s decided to go against their traditional methods and made some mid season trades for some big name pitchers, hoping they can help them win their first World Series since 1989. The Royals made it into the playoffs for the first time in 29 years, despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

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Pitching Matchups

Jon Lester will take the mound for the Athletics, while James Shields will start for the Royals.

Jon Lester was a two time World Series champion with Boston, which is why the Athletics traded for him, they believe his World Series experience will be invaluable to the team in the playoffs, and they are going to put that to the test by giving him the Wild Card start. He was 16-11, with a 2.46 ERA this year, and 6-4 with the Athletics since the trade.

James Shields hasn’t been as successful as Lester in the playoffs, and he allowed 11 runs in the last two playoff games he started, which were both losses. He had one of his best years as a pro in2014, with a 14-8 record, and is looking to put his past playoff disappointments behind him.

On paper, Oakland is the better team, because they are one of the best scoring teams, and have a dominant pitching staff. Unfortunately for them, the games still have to be played, and they are also playing on the road, so they will need Lester and the offense to be at their best in order to win in a hostile environment.

The Royals have the advantage of playing in front of their home crowd, in a packed stadium that will be very loud. They need to play a very smart game, and play to their strengths in order to win against a tough Oakland team.

Personal Pick: The Athletics will be too much for the Royals to handle.

The San Francisco Giants will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the winner moving on to play the Washington Nationals in the NLDS.

San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, Wednesday, October 1, 8:07 PM. ET. ESPN.

San Francisco is making their return to the playoffs since 2012 when they won the World Series for the second time in three years. The Pirates are trying to get past the NLDS, after getting eliminated in 5 games last year.

Pitching Matchups.

Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for San Francisco, and Edinson Volquez will start for the Pirates.

Bumgarner has more playoff experience than Volquez, which might be the difference in the game, and he has pitched better than Volquez this season. He is 3-2 in 6 playoff starts with a 3.79 ERA, and was 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA during the regular season.

Volquez had a good year with the Pirates, he was 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA, but he doesn’t have a lot of playoff experience. He only lasted 4 innings in his only playoff start with the Cincinnati Reds, and will need to play better than that for the Pirates to win the game.

San Francisco won three of their last four games to end the season, so they go into the playoffs playing very well, and they are hoping it carries over into the playoffs.

The Pirates were 2-2 in their final four games of the season, but they won 4 out of the 6 games they played against the Giants, so they should be very confident going into this game.

Personal Pick: The Giants have won the World Series the last two times they were in the playoffs, so I will give them the edge against Pittsburgh.