Do sharps believe that the New York Yankees can drive a dagger into the Boston Red Sox’s hopes to win the American League East this weekend?
Frankly, betting markets were bullish on the Bronx Bombers and bearish on Beantown before the series began.
Global composites showed the Yankees at roughly 57-60 percent to win the AL East, with Boston fairly distant at 20-22 percent. Among the reasons the market is pessimistic about the Sox:
- The Yankees have a comfortable lead over Boston in the current standings. The Red Sox dug an early hole with a 6-13 start, suffering what many were calling a “world championship hangover.” The Yankees have been playing inspired .650 ball this season, despite enduring a string of injuries.
- Though Boston did right finally right its ship (coincidentally timed with the end of its prior series at the Stadium that ended April 17), the Yankees have been playing better than the Red Sox since then! Boston entered this current series with a 23-14 record since the slow launch. The Yankees surged to 28-10 during that same calendar cluster.
- The Yankees eventually will get some of their stars back in the lineup, lessening the likelihood of a long slump.
- It could be very difficult for very good teams to “collapse” from this point forward because so many AL entries are mediocre or worse. Thus, the Yankees theoretically could “cool off” in a way that just means winning closer games versus bad teams rather than suffering outright losses. (Of course, they might not cool off at all.)
Game-day market movement through the series will provide the final answer on how sharps currently perceive the skill sets of these two teams. Be sure you note the difference between oddsmakers openers and market closers.
Zooming back a bit, bettors (sharps and squares alike) have noticed recently how dominant AL powers have been against everyone else. Here were the records (entering Thursday) of the five likely playoff participants since April 17 when not playing each other: Twins 23-6, Yankees 22-7, Astros 18-8, Red Sox 18-8, Rays 16-8.
Guest oddsmakers across all VSiN broadcasts have been bemoaning their misfortunes of late. Big favorites are on fire (you can throw in several weeks’ worth of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs from the National League too). Squares love to bet big favorites. Squares also love to parlay big favorites. It wasn’t uncommon to see nightly sweeps the past month when powers play pipsqueaks.
History has shown that betting approach is typically ill-advised. But, history doesn’t have a lot of sample seasons where a lack of parity is magnified by long-distance baseballs that intensify the dynamics of power offenses.
As you monitor game-day lines in Sox-Yankees, it wouldn’t hurt to do the same with Twins-Rays in (gulp) another potential playoff preview. Take educational advantage of rare “power versus power” matchups when they happen.