The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees rivalry might be one that everyone outside of those areas is sick of hearing about or watching, but a three-game series this week has some serious playoff implications.
With the teams set to play a doubleheader Tuesday, including a 1:05 p.m. ET start for the first game, neither is guaranteed a playoff spot. The Red Sox are 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and the Yankees are 5.5 back. A Yankees-Red Sox wild card meeting would be interesting, but they both need to play pretty well to make it happen. The Red Sox are in a playoff spot, but just a half-game ahead of the Oakland A's for the first wild-card spot. The Yankees are 1.5 back of the A's, with the Toronto Blue Jays 4 games behind Oakland.
If the Rays and A's keep playing well and the Blue Jays (or Seattle Mariners, 5 back of the wild card) get hot, the Red Sox and Yankees could get left out. Maybe only one of them will make it. That's what makes their head-to-head meetings so important.
The Yankees are -120 favorites at BetMGM in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader (that's a change from the overnight line, when the Red Sox were favored) and Boston is -115 for the second game. It's a good spot to bet the Yankees in both games.
The Red Sox are coming off a sweep, but it was against the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles can't beat anyone. Before that Boston was on a 3-11 stretch. The Yankees, bolstered by some trade deadline moves, are 15-5 in their last 20. They've been making a nice push, including winning three in a row.
Maybe this three-game set is the Yankees' chance to make a move for the playoffs.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Tuesday:
Just MLB today?
Actually no, there is a five-game WNBA slate, including a pretty good Minnesota Lynx-Connecticut Sun game. There are also three Champions League soccer matches, if you're interested.
What does the MLB have to offer today?
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals is decent because both teams are above .500 and the Cincinnati Reds and their soft schedule could still make the NL Central interesting. The Brewers are -160 favorites in the opener against St. Louis. New York-Boston and Oakland-Chicago White Sox are the other two games between teams above .500. Oakland is -120 favorites despite losing the series opener on Monday.
Who cashed tickets on Monday?
It was a fun day of baseball, with the Colorado Rockies walking off the San Diego Padres as small underdogs, the Los Angeles Dodgers saving those who bet them as big favorites against the Pittsburgh Pirates on a tie-breaking Max Muncy home run in the eighth inning and the San Francisco Giants continuing their great season with a win over the New York Mets. Oh, and the Chicago Cubs lost 15-4.
What's the best bet?
What's the next best bet?
While Sandy Alcantara is a good pitcher for the Miami Marlins, I'll still take the Atlanta Braves at a reasonable -135 price. The Marlins are a team that's mostly waiting for the season to end, they lost 12-2 on Monday and the Braves have been one of the hottest teams in baseball. The odds should be higher for the Braves.
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