by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
A ghastly run by their starting rotation has not budged the New York Yankees from top spot on the American League pennant odds, but it might be a nudge for backers to look beyond the Bronx for value.
Heading into Major League Baseball’s trade deadline on Wednesday, the Yankees are +160 favorites on the American League champion futures board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Houston Astros, as the second favorite, have also seen their price drop to +170. From there the board spreads out to the Minnesota Twins (+600), Cleveland Indians (+750), Boston Red Sox (+1100), Tampa Bay Rays (+1400) and Oakland Athletics (+1800).
Four weeks ago, the Yankees and Astros had the same degree of separation in pennant futures at online sports betting sites, except their prices were a little juicier at +190 and +200 respectively. The Twins were also closer to the respective division leaders at +425.
The main question with the Yankees is what starting pitching upgrades general manager Brian Cashman will be able to make before Wednesday’s trade deadline. New York recently went through an eight-game stretch where its starters had a 14.65 earned-run average and not a single one completed six innings in a game. That simply is not a recipe for winning baseball in October.
A lot can happen, but that would suggest the Astros, with their clearly defined big three on the bump in Justin Verlander, Wade Miley and Gerrit Cole, are the surer play of the two at this writing.
The AL Central race between the Twins and Indians has gained considerable intrigue with Cleveland’s three-team pending swap that will bring in slugging outfielder Yasiel Puig while flipping all-star pitcher Trevor Bauer across league lines to the Cincinnati Reds. Adding Puig’s bat might make Cleveland a more balanced contender and a better value play.
With that said, winning the division has become more essential to winning the pennant since the creation of the second wild-card berth and the one-and-done play-in round. For what it might be worth, the AL Central-leading Twins appear to have a more favourable schedule than the Indians over the final two months of the regular season, based on the number of games against sub-.500 teams.
The defending champion Red Sox still have at least two teams to climb over to get into a playoff position. If a Boston team can ever be a deep sleeper, it’s definitely this one, which is near a playoff position despite a mediocre team ERA and a home winning percentage at Fenway Park that is more than 100 points lower than their away winning percentage.