Though it’s impossible for all six of the following teams to reach the American League Playoffs (only five spots!), there will definitely be a playoff atmosphere at possible playoff previews Monday through Wednesday featuring the New York Yankees at Minnesota, Boston at Tampa Bay and Oakland at Houston.
With those blockbusters front and center, VSiN continues its two-day report on league futures prices from William Hill. Yesterday we focused on the National League, today the American. These are odds to win the A.L. and earn a trip to the World Series.
New York Yankees 3/2 (40% win equivalent)
New York is already great, and could improve down the stretch if more healthy bodies return or if there are meaningful talent acquisitions via trades. It’s tough to be much higher than 40% to win a league with another superpower at this stage of a season.
Houston 225 (31%)
William Hill uses a money line here, which is less confusing to recreational bettors than 45/20. These prices suggest that the market expects the Yankees to earn home field advantage for the postseason. The A.L. favorite might flip if Houston earns that perk.
Minnesota 3/1 (25%)
You regulars know that sports books build a universe larger than 100% to create a house edge. We’re already at 96% just three teams into the A.L.! That right there tells you there’s not much value trying to bet at these prices. You’ll likely earn similar returns or better just by waiting for the playoffs to begin, then betting your favorite choices round-by-round at series odds. Minnesota in particular would pay off at a lot more than 3/1 in a “rollover parlay” as underdogs against the Yanks and Astros in consecutive rounds.
Tampa Bay and Boston each 11/1 (each 9%)
The market sees this as a dead heat, the Rays may have a very significant ace up their sleeve for earning the top AL wildcard. It’s possible that the last two playoff entries will be determined by who takes most advantage of lousy opponents no longer trying. Right now in the league, that would be Baltimore, Toronto, Detroit, Kansas City, Chicago White Sox (struggling lately), and Seattle.
Remaining games vs. those Sick Six: Tampa Bay 29, Cleveland 23, Texas 23, Oakland 14, Boston 12.
The Red Sox may have wasted too much time recovering from their World Championship hangover.
Cleveland 17/1 (6%)
See above…the Indians might deserve some longshot thought here given their remaining schedule.
Oakland 20/1 (5%)
Playing great ball of late, but not dealing with the friendliest of remaining schedules. If you think the market is misreading this team’s true quality, focus on taking advantage of affordable day-to-day money lines.
Texas 25/1 (4%)
Many indicators are screaming “pretender!” The Rangers are probably a much longer shot than this, which will show up in pricing in a few weeks.
Serious bettors will be doing a lot of scouting the next few days with so many AL contenders squaring off. Isn’t it time you got serious?