The upshot of the New York Yankees’ laundry list of injuries is that they are retaining their betting value – but their small-market challenger might have more upside.
With the exact midpoint of the Major League Baseball regular season about a week away, the Yankees have moved to a -200 favorite to claim the AL East title on the American League division odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Tampa Bay Rays (+250) are the second favorite and the Boston Red Sox (+575) slot in as a relative darkhorse.
The Yankees have the AL East lead despite the fact injuries have limited slugging outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton to fewer than 100 at-bats combined, while standout pitchers Luis Severino and Dellin Betances have yet to play this season. Any or all of those stars returning and having a hot start could drive the Yankees’ price farther into minus money, so the time is now for a bettor who believes the Bronx Bombers’ outlook boils down to “add stars and stir.”
The Rays boast the league’s lowest earned-run average thanks in large part to the starting pitching trio of Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos and Blake Snell. It is also worth noting the Rays have compiled a better run differential than the Yankees against better competition, having played the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays just 11 times to New York’s 15.
The Boston Red Sox have made progress and could be a value play for those who believe it is folly to write off a reigning World Series champion so early in the game.
The Minnesota Twins (-6000) have become the overwhelming favorite to win the AL Central at sports betting sites, ahead of the Cleveland Indians (+1100). The Twins have dominated against competition from all three divisions and are scoring runs at a torrid pace, with six everyday players owning an OPS of .800 or higher. The Twins’ balanced strength is tough to bet against, but they will need it to be sustainable and a regression could open the door for Cleveland, which still has the sixth-best team ERA in the majors.
Over in the AL West, the Houston Astros (-20000) have barely a scintilla of betting value as they embark on becoming the first team in a decade to win it three seasons in a row. The Texas Rangers (+2000), Oakland Athletics (+2200) and Los Angeles Angels (+2500) are all in a scenario where fighting it out for the second wild card seems more attainable.