The Daily Sweat: Playoff spot in hand, will Cardinals try to extend 17-game win streak?

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Usually, bettors want to keep riding a team's winning streak. The St. Louis Cardinals have an odd circumstance, however. 

The Cardinals have won 17 in a row, and if bettors caught on to that hot streak early they've cleaned up. On Wednesday, the 17-0 stretch culminated in a playoff berth. The Cards clinched a wild-card spot. 

Does that mean the end of the line for their streak? 

The Cardinals have nothing more to play for, in terms of playoff positioning, starting Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. They can't win the NL Central. They'll be the second wild-card team, likely facing the Los Angeles Dodgers (though the San Francisco Giants haven't clinched the NL West yet). They have also used up a lot of energy winning every game for about three straight weeks to clinch their playoff spot. Some rest over the next few days would be nice. 

Yet, maybe the Cardinals want to keep this going. It's the longest winning streak in team history, and the longest in the majors this late in the season since the 1935 Chicago Cubs won 21 in a row in September, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Perhaps the Cardinals don't want to spend the rest of the week losing momentum. 

Early Wednesday morning there was no betting line for the Cardinals-Milwaukee Brewers game at BetMGM. Usually when teams clinch a playoff berth, the starters sit the next day. It would just be a shame if the historic streak ended in an anticlimactic way. 

The Cardinals celebrate after clinching a playoff berth. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Cardinals celebrate after clinching a playoff berth. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday: 

Any interesting MLB action? 

The Giants-Dodgers race in the NL West is still alive, though the Giants lead by two games with five to play. The Giants are -275 favorites against the Arizona Diamondbacks

Theoretically the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are battling for the NL East, but the Phillies' loss to the Braves on Tuesday knocks them 3.5 games back. The Braves are -145 favorites against the Phillies on Wednesday

In the AL, the wild-card race is still going. The Seattle Mariners' hot streak has them just a half-game behind the Boston Red Sox for the final spot, while the New York Yankees are two games clear of anyone and in the top spot. The Yankees face the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday while the Mariners take on the Oakland A's. 

Who cashed tickets on Tuesday? 

Well, the Cardinals of course, as they've done 17 times in a row. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays, getting a big home run from Giancarlo Stanton as they put the Blue Jays' playoff hopes in peril. The Red Sox were dealt a crushing and surprising loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox, with Chris Sale on the mound, were huge -250 favorites. 

What's the best bet? 

The Yankees have won seven in a row and have Gerrit Cole on the mound Wednesday. They're just -115 favorites over the Jays, and it seems wise to back them as they try to clinch a postseason spot. 

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