The New York Yankees may have seen off a recent threat from the Tampa Bay Rays, but they’re still not quite home and dry when it comes to the betting to win the AL East division.
The 2-1 mini-series win the Yankees scored over the Rays last weekend saw them extend their lead slightly over Kevin Cash’s side. And this after the Rays took the spoils in the series opener at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
A lockout in favor of the Rays would have been a disaster for the New Yorkers. So the 2-1 series win, along with a 4-1 loss for the Blue Jays at the Texas Rangers helped keep the Yankees on track.
The New York Yankees (-3000) are the favorites to win the AL East Division, as they have been for most of the season. In the odds to win the big one, the Yankees are +600 with the top MLB World Series betting sites.
With the Rays closing in on them earlier in the month and now the Blue Jays finding some form, I would be very nervous about backing them at -3000 at this stage. It seems like very short odds.
|AL East Division Winner Betting|
|New York Yankees||-3000||-3300|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1400||+1400|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1500||+1400|
The chances are the Yankees already have enough wins in the bag. But they aren’t running away with the division like the Dodgers are in the NL West. The Yankees’ success is still far from secure, despite their six wins lead over their closest rivals.
The Bronx-based Yankees know they can’t afford any slips in the regular-season run-in. Their current lead isn’t big enough, and a run of bad results, coupled with a good run from one of their two rivals could see them blow a division win they have looked in control of for nearly all of the season.
So what’s in store for the sides over the next few days and weeks?
The Yankees are off to Milwaukee this weekend to take on the Brewers at the American Family Field stadium. The Brewers still have plenty to play for, they are only just over a handful of wins behind the Cardinals in the NL Central Division, and they know that if they can string a run of results together, they might well be able to reel in St Louis, who have been stuttering a bit of late.
After that, the Yankees have a home doubleheader against the Pirates, which is a series they would expect two from two in.
Following that are four home matches against the Boston Red Sox. Again, on paper, this is a series the Yankees would expect to comfortably win. But this is the Red Sox, and they are so unpredictable, and with this being a local rivalry, who knows what will happen?
The Yankees will need to take as much as they can out of these six matches though. After that, they have a triple header away to the Blue Jays at the end of the month. They won’t want to go into that with Toronto within striking distance.
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As for the Blue Jays, before they get to what could be their final chance to overhaul the Yankees, they have work to do to keep the pressure on.
After the series against the Rays finishes (a series helping out New York somewhat), the Blue Jays have a must-win home triple header against the Orioles. Three from three here looks like a must.
The Blue Jays then have a double header away to the Phillies, before a season-defining seven-game run.
Starting on Thursday, September 22nd, the Blue Jays play four matches away at the Rays, followed by the triple header against the Yankees. It’s a difficult run, but at least it’s still in their hands.
As for the Rays, they seem to have run into a sticky patch of form at exactly the wrong time of the season.
This weekend they have a three-match home series against the Texas Rangers, followed by three matches at home to the Houston Astros. And then it is the four-match showdown with the Blue Jays.
All three of these series are at home, where the Rays are strong. They are 47-24 at Tropicana Field, a record up there with all the top MLB teams.
With the Blue Jays and the Rays clashing in two series this month, the Yankees will at least see off one side, possibly both. The chances are that they will take wins off each other and that only helps New York.
To keep the division alive, the Blue Jays will probably have to lock out the Yankees, and that on its own is a big enough task.
The Yankees are very short at -3000 with the best MLB betting sites, but the truth is, that’s probably about right given the fixtures. I don’t think I would be betting on them at that price though. There is too much that could go wrong, for so little reward. I would either not bet, or have small wagers on the other two sides, hoping for a major capitulation from New York.