The Daily Sweat: Can Toronto make one final run at the New York Yankees?
It was early July when the New York Yankees opened a 15.5-game lead in the AL East. They opened the season with a record of 61-23, but since then, they're just 24-33. The Yankees were on pace to set records, but instead, we're talking about a world where maybe the Yankees can be beat out for the division by a team like Toronto or Tampa Bay.
It's rather unlikely that anyone catches the Yankees. They have a 92.4% chance to win the division as of Tuesday morning, according to FanGraphs. They're still -1300 favorites to win the division at BetMGM. The Yankees could all but wrap up the division this week without even winning a game.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays are in the midst of a massive five-game series. Toronto won the series opener on Monday to inch a little closer. Toronto is 5.5 games back of the Yankees while the Rays are six games back. The Jays are 9-2 in September.
In an ideal world for the Yankees, the teams split this series 3-2, one way or another. It'll take games off of both of their schedules without the ability to make up much ground. If Toronto can somehow win four of five or even sweep the series against the Rays, it'll be in a position to make a serious push at the Yankees over the final two weeks. It would also all but eliminate the Rays from the race. Toronto is currently 13-to-1 to win the AL East while the Rays are 28-to-1.
The two teams play a double-header on Tuesday. In the day game, Alek Manoah is on the bump for the Jays. Toronto is a -150 favorite on the moneyline. By the weekend, we should know whether the AL East is actually in play or if the Yankees can simply cruise through the last few weeks.
What else is on the line over the last three weeks?
A lot is already wrapped up across the MLB, despite there still being three weeks left in the regular season. The Cardinals, Dodgers and Astros have all but clinched their respective divisions, as all three teams have leads of at least eight games.
The two most intriguing divisional races come in the NL East and the AL Central. The Mets are -250 favorites to win the NL East. The Braves are 1.5 games back and have +200 odds to win the division. In the AL Central, the Cleveland Guardians are -350 favorites. They have a 3-game lead over the Chicago White Sox, who are +350 to win the division. Minnesota is 5 games back. They are 14-to-1 to win the AL Central.
The AL Cy Young race is a two-horse race between Dylan Cease and Justin Verlander. Verlander might return this weekend from injury and he's a +110 underdog to win the award. Cease is a -150 favorite. In the NL, Sandy Alcantara is a -185 favorite. Max Fried and Julio Urias are tied for the second-best odds at +650. Zac Gallen is right behind them at +700.
The NL Rookie of the Year race is a fight between two Braves teammates. Spencer Strider is a -145 favorite to win the award but his teammate Michael Harris is right behind him at +100. Seiya Suzuki has the third best odds at 250-to-1.
The three other awards are all but wrapped up according to the odds. Julio Rodriguez is a -1600 favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year. Adley Rutschman is +750 and nobody else has better than 66-to-1 awards. As far as MVPs, Aaron Judge is a -1200 favorite in the AL while Paul Goldschmidt is -2500 in the NL.
First look at Week 2 lines
Tuesday and Wednesday are the only two days of the week we have to survive without football until midseason college games pick up later in the season. It's the ideal time to look forward to the upcoming week.
Week 1 is in the books, capped by the Seattle Seahawks winning outright as a 6-point underdog on Monday night. Here are the betting lines for this weekend's NFL games:
LA Chargers @ Kansas City (-3.5)
Miami @ Baltimore (-3.5)
NY Jets @ Cleveland (-6)
Washington @ Detroit (-2.5)
Indianapolis (-4) @ Jacksonville
Tampa Bay (-3) @ New Orleans
Carolina @ NY Giants (-2.5)
New England (-1) @ Pittsburgh
Atlanta @ LA Rams (-10.5)
Seattle @ San Francisco (-9.5)
Cincinnati (-7) @ Dallas
Houston @ Denver (-10)
Arizona @ Las Vegas (-5.5)
Chicago @ Green Bay (-10)
Tennessee @ Buffalo (-10)
Minnesota @ Philadelphia (-1.5)