Major League Baseball has longest regular season in major sports at 162 games, so the adage “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” applies to the six-month MLB season.

It’s tough to remember that, however, when your team is going through some harder times. For the New York Mets, who have led the National League East all season, it’s only been a few days, but dropping three out of four games to the rival Atlanta Braves has tightened up the division standings, the team has suffered some injuries, and there was the mental blow of losing a game started by Jacob DeGrom on Thursday night.

The crosstown New York Yankees, on the other hand, are trending in the wrong direction. While their division lead is still healthy, the Bronx Bombers are 9-18 since the All-Star break.

How have these struggles affected the Mets and Yankees futures betting odds in their respective divisions?

Yankees in the Midst of an Extended Slide

The Yankees are 15-25 since sitting at 58-21 on July 2, a record that would’ve had them set the all-time regular-season record for wins if they kept that pace up for the second half of the season. But now at 73-46, they are unlikely to have the best record in baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers), the American League (Houston Astros), or possibly even their own city (Mets) this year.

But for this article, we’re talking about the American League East.

The Yankees logged a huge win on Wednesday when they overcame deficits of 4-0 in the sixth and 7-4 in the 10th to beat Tampa Bay on a walk-off grand slam by Josh Donaldson to move the AL East lead back to 10 games.

But that momentum didn’t hold up, as the Yankees allowed five runs to Toronto in the second inning on Thursday in a 9-2 defeat. Frankie Montas, who New York acquired at the trade deadline, dropped to 0-2 in three starts for New York with a 9.00 ERA. Meanwhile, the team traded away Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis, and all he’s done for the Cardinals is post a 3-0 mark with a 0.54 ERA in three starts for the Cardinals.

With the lead sitting at nine games over both Toronto and Tampa Bay going into this weekend, this will be a crucial stretch for the Yankees. They face Toronto three more times (while the Rays host lowly Kansas City), and then the Yankees host the Mets next Monday and Tuesday, when they will face Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom.

New York (+195) started in a tight three-way race with both the Jays (+215) and Rays (+255), but by August 10, even with the Yankees starting to slide by that point, the odds were at +5000. Now, just 10 days later, you can get them for half that price. DraftKings has the Yankees at -2500 and FanDuel is at -2200, whereas BetMGM is holding steady at -5000.

New York Yankees-2500-2200-5000
Toronto Blue Jays+2000+2300+2000
Tampa Bay Rays+6000+5500+3000
Odds vary greatly on these American League East futures odds, so bet accordingly.

No Cause for Concern With Mets…Yet

The Mets dropped a pair of lopsided games to Atlanta when both starting pitchers (Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker) lasted two innings before departing due to injuries. On Wednesday and Thursday, with aces Scherzer and DeGrom pitching, the Mets held on to win 9-7 on Wednesday and dropped a tight 3-2 decision on Thursday.

Preceding this first series loss to an NL East team this season, the Mets had a 9-2 homestand against Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia. After nine of their next 12 games are against the Phillies, Yankees, and Dodgers, New York has an easy September schedule filled with the likes of the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Miami.

Winning three of four over Philadelphia this weekend (or even splitting) will probably be enough to essentially eliminate the Phillies from NL East contention, given that this is the final head-to-head series between the clubs this year.

The lead over the Braves is currently 3.5 games with Atlanta hosting AL-leading Houston this weekend. At the start of the season, the two rivals were virtually even in the odds (Braves +130; Mets +135), but the Mets have seen their odds grow all spring before plateauing at around -450 since July 1. Here are the current odds from the same major sportsbooks above.

New York Mets-450-440-500
Atlanta Braves+350+350+375
Philadelphia Phillies+14000+10000+12500
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