The New York Yankees are going through their first “rough patch” (as manager Aaron Boone calls it) of the season, dropping seven of their last eight games, which included two 1-0 losses in that span. The Yankees are also just 7-13 since the All-Star break and have been passed by the Houston Astros in some futures markets.
The New York Mets, on the other hand, are closing in on both the Yankees and Astros in World Series baseball betting odds, on the heels of taking four out of five games from the Atlanta Braves to put the National League East race nearly to bed (the Mets lead by seven games). The Mets lost their first two games after the All-Star break but are 15-2 since, joining the Los Angeles Dodgers as clear National League favorites.
Is There Reason to Worry About the Yankees?
Aaron Judge is still hitting (slugging his MLB-leading 45th home run on Wednesday), but little else is going right for the Bronx Bombers after losing four of six to the Seattle Mariners and being swept in three games at St. Louis over the weekend.
The Yankees, who lost out to Seattle on trying to acquire starting pitcher Luis Castillo and then was promptly shut down by the former Cincinnati pitcher twice in the past week, are suddenly looking at a lack of starting pitching. Jordan Montgomery was curiously traded to St. Louis for outfield depth in Harrison Bader (who is out until September with an injury), Luis Severino is also out until next month, and new addition Frankie Montas was lit up by the Cardinals on Sunday for six runs in three innings.
In the bullpen, Clay Holmes has been ineffective since July, Albert Abreu is routinely getting hammered, and while Aroldis Chapman is back, he hasn’t been in many high-leverage situations as of late.
The offense is also dealing with injuries: Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t have a timeline yet to return and Matt Carpenter suffered a bad break on Tuesday when he fouled a ball off of his foot and broke a bone, potentially missing the rest of the season.
Houston, meanwhile, is now tied with New York at 71-40. The team with the better record would have home-field advantage in a potential American League Championship Series matchup. Here’s how the World Series and American League pennant futures odds are stacking up for both clubs
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The Mets Can Put the NL East to Bed in the Next 10 Days
The Mets, meanwhile, are the solid fourth World Series favorite behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and right in line now with the Yankees and Astros (the Mets’ average World Series futures odds stand at +450).
The offense has scored at least five runs in nine-straight games, and the starting pitching has an ERA of 2.25 since Max Scherzer returned to the rotation in early July.
New York, while it did not address its bullpen issues at the trade deadline, acquired a DH platoon and outfield depth in Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin, and Darin Ruf, and all three players are performing well for their new team.
And you may have heard about Jacob DeGrom returning to the mound after over a year off due to several injuries.
After allowing one run in a no-decision in his debut at Washington, DeGrom dazzled in front of the Citi Field crowd on Sunday, retiring the first 17 Braves he faced while striking out 12. The combination of Scherzer and DeGrom will be tough to beat in October, especially if the Dodgers still have health concerns over Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. As good as Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin have been, those two would not be favored against the Mets’ top-two in the rotation.
The Mets enter a stretch where they play seven games against Philadelphia and four at Atlanta with a seven-game lead in the NL East. If they were able to even simply finish 6-5 in that stretch, the division crown should be all but theirs.
The bottom line, however, is that even with the Yankees’ recent slump, there are four huge World Series favorites, and the Braves (2-6 against the Mets over the past month) and San Diego Padres (swept by the Dodgers last weekend) failed to enter that conversation.