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Hot Dog Contest update; Yankees 2020 Betting Preview: Value on Under 37.5 wins?

July 4, 2020 12:48 AM

Happy 4th of July! In Friday's newsletter, we discussed the Hot Dog Eating odds and how the competition is stacking up. Over the past 24 hours, we've seen some notable movement across the market. Joey Chestnut remains a massive favorite at BetMGM, but has dropped slightly from -1250 to -1112 (implied probability 92.6% to 91.7%). The total number of hot dogs eaten by Chestnut is still 72.5 but the juice on the over has skyrocketed from -125 to -167. This indicates action coming in on the over. It's hard to tell if it's sharp or just public betting.

One variable to keep in mind: the event will take place indoors, not outside along the Coney Island boardwalk. Does the indoor setup make for ideal eating conditions, which therefore benefits the over? Or will the lack of fans and subdued atmosphere lead to less motivation and less adrenaline for Chestnut, which benefits the under? If you're eyeing an inflated, contrarian under, you can now get under 72.5 at + 135 (opened + 100). 

Chestnut has also moved from + 125 to + 140 to break the world record by eating 75 or more hot dogs. The fact that the payout has gotten bigger signals it's less likely to happen. It's also a one-sided prop without a "no" option, which bettors should always be wary of. The sportsbooks might be sweetening the payout to entice more action because bettors aren't biting. The contest begins today at Noon ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. 

Yankees' 2020 Betting Preview: Can Bronx Bombers end 11-year World Series drought?

The Yankees cruised through the 2019 regular season, winning the AL East and posting the 3rd-best record in baseball at 103-59. Only the Astros (107-55) and Dodgers (106-56) won more games. Unfortunately, the postseason wasn't as kind. New York took care of business in ALDS, sweeping the Twins in three games. But then they ran into a Houston buzzsaw, losing to the Astros in the ALCS in six games. 

New York is one of the most successful and iconic franchises in major sports. The Bronx Bombers have won 27 World Series. The next closest are the St. Louis Cardinals with 11 and the Boston Red Sox with 9. However, New York has been in a drought as of late. They haven't brought a championship home to the Bronx since 2009. For a team with such a rich pedigree and deep pockets, a decade without a ring is unacceptable.

In an attempt to win Banner No. 28, the Yankees went out and signed the biggest name on the free-agent market, inking former Astros ace Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA in 2019) to a massive 9-year, $324 million contract. New York also lost shortstop Didi Gregorious and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion in free agency. However, the Yanks are counting on a big bounce back year from injured sluggers Aaaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Both are expected to be reading for Opening Day. 

Here is the Yankees' projected 2020 lineup. The bottom half of the order could change based on matchups, with Brett Gardner and Miguel Andujar starting instead. New York led MLB in runs scored last season with 643.

1. DJ Lemahieu 2B

2. Aaron Judge OF

3. Gleyber Torres SS

4. Giancarlo Stanton DH

5. Gary Sanchez C

6. Luke Voit 1B

7. Mike Tauchman OF

8. Gio Urshela 3B

9. Clint Frazier OF

Here is the projected starting rotation. Gone is longtime starter CC Sabathia due to retirement. The Yankees will also be without Luis Severino due to Tommy John surgery and Domingo German due to suspension.

1. Gerrit Cole

2. Masahiro Tanaka

3. James Paxton

4. J.A. Happ

5. Jordan Montgomery/Jonathan Loaisiga

The Yanks have the luxury of leaning on one of the game's best bullpens, led by closer Aroldis Chapman and ace relievers Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton and Tommy Kahnle. 

So what do the oddsmakers expect from the pinstripes this season?

At BetMGM, the Yankees' win total is 37.5 (-110 juice both sides), tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the highest in MLB. This translates to a 101.3 win season based on a 162-game schedule.

FanGraphs, one of the most respected sites for advanced baseball analytics, is projecting New York with a 34-26 season. This would indicate a 3.5-game discrepancy from their win total. If you trust FanGraphs, this signals some actionable value on the Yankees' under 37.5 wins.

New York is a heavy -323 favorite to win the AL East, followed by Tampa Bay + 330, Boston + 1000, Toronto + 3500 and Baltimore + 800.

The Yanks are the favorite to win the AL Pennant at + 170. The next closest competitors are the Astros + 380 and Twins + 800.

New York is + 400 to win the World Series, trailing only the Dodgers are + 350.

The Yankees have several MVP candidates, led by Judge + 850, Torres + 1500, Lemahieu + 3500, Stanton + 4000, Cole + 500 and Sanchez + 10000. 

With so many home run hitters in the Yankee lineup, you could target the "most home runs hit by any player" prop bet. The line is 20.5 with -115 juice on both sides.

Cole is the favorite to win the AL Cy Young at + 265. He is also the favorite to lead the AL in strikeouts at + 130 and the favorite to lead the AL in wins at + 240. 

Chapman is the favorite to lead the AL in saves at + 400. 

The Yankees open up the season in primetime on Thursday July 23, against the defending World Series champion Nationals. With Cole likely to face either Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg the Yankees are listed as -130 road favorites with the Nats a + 110 home dog. The total is 7.5 (over + 100, under -120).

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