The New York Yankees have the best winning percentage in baseball as of this writing, so it’s no surprise that the Bombers are +500 favorites to win their first World Series title since 2009. Yet, the Yankees might not even win their own division – the Boston Red Sox are right there in the AL East – and they also clearly have some issues in the rotation.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The team recently lost young left-hander Jordan Montgomery, the No. 5 starter, to season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then, No. 2 starter Masahiro Tanaka injured both hamstrings running the bases – another argument for the NL adding the designated hitter as it happened during an interleague game – and will miss about a month.
As it was, the Yankees had questions in the rotation behind ace and All-Star Luis Severino. It’s all but a lock that New York will trade for a frontline starting pitcher, perhaps Texas’ Cole Hamels, as it has the need, the money and the prospects to do so. Now that we are into mid-June, trade talks should start heading up, with the non-waiver trade deadline July 31.
The Houston Astros (+525) and Boston (+600) are just behind New York. The Red Sox and Yankees figure to stage an epic race for the AL East title all season, with the runner-up forced into the Wild-Card Game. Houston, meanwhile, is in a surprising race in the AL West with the Seattle Mariners (+2200), who seem to be getting no respect from oddsmakers.
Seattle is an astounding 21-9 in one-run games this year (easily the most such wins in MLB) thanks in part to a terrific bullpen anchored by closer Edwin Diaz. The Mariners don’t seem to miss All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, who won’t return until mid-August due to an 80-game PED suspension. Seattle has the longest playoff drought in the sport, last reaching in 2001. It has never reached a World Series.
In the National League, the Chicago Cubs (+750) are playing their best baseball of the season and have taken over the Senior Circuit’s favored role, with the Washington Nationals (+800) and Los Angeles Dodgers (+1000) right behind. The Cubs, Nationals and Dodgers have all won their division at least each of the past two years and it would be an upset if they don’t each again.
The Arizona Diamondbacks (+2800), though, currently lead the NL West. The Atlanta Braves (+1600) are atop the NL East. The Milwaukee Brewers (+1600) have a short lead on the Cubs in the NL Central.