Thursday, July 23, 2015

AL East-leading Yankees Emerging as Betting Favorites at Online Sportsbooks

The New York Yankees opened the 2015 MLB season amid low expectations. The offseason departures of living legend Derek Jeter and hurler Hiroki Kuroda appeared to leave the Yankees with major roster holes to fill in, and a long way from claiming their an AL East pennant.

But with the emergence of young players like Didi Gregorious, the Bronx Bombers have proven to be one of the surprise stories of the season. Since kicking off the current campaign with distant +400 odds to win the division, ahead of only the longshot Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees reached the All-Star Break atop the division standings, a solid 3.5 games ahead of the equally surprising Rays.

The Yankees come out of the break with six home dates on the schedule, including a crucial three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, who sit just four games back in the division.

A brief losing streak could easily drop the Yankees out of the AL East's top spot, which no team has been able to hang on to so far this season. However, they appear to have made believers out of oddsmakers at the online sportsbooks, who now peg the Pinstripes as solid +140 favorites to take this year's division crown.

Perhaps the true measure of New York's contender status will come following their upcoming three game set against the O's, when they hit the road for a 10-game journey which includes matchups against the Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers.

That road trip marks the start of a 22-game stretch during which they will play 16 times away from the Bronx. The Yankees hit the All-Star Break following a 24-game stretch in which they played 14 at home, going 9-5, but are a middling 23-24 on the road at the break, including a 6-9 record in their last 15 away contests.

Both the Blue Jays and Orioles also face lengthy road trips following the MLB All-Star Game.

Baltimore will be starved of home cooking when they hit the road for nine games against Detroit Tigers, Yankees and Rays before returning home for seven games to wrap up the month of July.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, continue an odyssey that has already seen them play their last 10 games on the road while their home at Rogers Centre has been the stage for the 2015 Pan-American Games.

Toronto, which is currently pegged as a +400 bet to win the AL East, returns to the Dome for three games against Tampa Bay before heading west for series against the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's.

While a mediocre 3-7 record to kick off their road trip has Jays fans fearing yet another midsummer swoon, the Jays follow up their journey with 16 of their following 19 games at home, including six contests against the Yankees.

The Boston Red Sox cannot be forgotten in the second half. Listed as +200 favorites to win the AL East betting prior to the start of their current campaign, according to reports from the Red Sox lost early and often in the first two months of the season, falling as far as 9.5 games back of the division leaders.

But with just 6.5 games now separating first-place New York and the last-place Sox, who are 14-8 in 22 games prior to the All-Star Break, Boston very much remains in the hunt, with +500 betting odds to stage an improbable comeback and claim their second AL East crown in three years.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)