The New York Yankees are no strangers to the American League Division Series. They’ve made it a mainstay on their way to countless playoff losses since their 2009 World Series championship.
This week, they’ll play host to the Cleveland Guardians, but while they’ve met before, New York shouldn’t be too familiar with this Guardians squad. Cleveland is the youngest team in baseball and full of fresh faces surrounding stars like José Ramírez and Shane Bieber. With three games to win and five opportunities to do so, which bets are best for the ALDS?
Single Game Bets
To start, Game 1 has arrived, and there are a handful of bets to take advantage of.
Gerrit Cole and the Yankees are heavy favorites, at -205 to take the opener. With an $100 wager, a win would turn $48.78 in profit. However, we can find similar outcomes with better value.
To this, we turn to DraftKings. If New York is as heavy a favorite as they are (rightfully) perceived to be, then shouldn’t they be winning through eight innings? The book has them at -135 to not bat in the bottom of the ninth. Here, we are taking virtually the same exact risk as before. The only additional outcome that can hurt us is a walk off.
Depending on your confidence in the Yankees, taking them against the spread (-1.5) is listed at +110. This is plus money for a reason–New York went 72-90 against the spread this year and team’s don’t exactly cover at overwhelming rates. The key here is the long ball. If Aaron Judge and the Yankees’ big bats can mount an early lead, the Guardians may not use their highest-leverage relievers, holding out for a lead to cling onto.
Who will advance to the ALCS?
I’m not sure there is a safer favorite in the Division Series than New York. The payroll, the star power, and home field advantage all lean in favor of the evil empire.
That’s not to say Cleveland doesn’t have a path to a seven-game series. The Yankees bullpen is in rough shape. If things get dicey late, expect the Guardians to pick up a game. Still, they are the only favorites to avoid in-division chaos. Expect New York to jump out early and often and keep this series to four games or fewer.
The Yankees are -210 to advance to the ALCS.
This article references an against the spread (otherwise known as the run line in baseball). In order to cover/win, the team favored must win by two or more. The underdog must win or lose by just a single run. Unlike football, these odds are more likely to stray away from -110 odds, but virtually never leave the 1.5 runs needed to cover. If you’re going to take a favorite to cover, make sure they have the starting pitching advantage.