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London series could settle AL East for season

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN.com) 

June 28, 2019 04:00 PM

Heading into their historic two-game weekend series in London, England. It’s a great time to ask: Do the Boston Red Sox have a chance to catch the New York Yankees from nine games back in the American League East? 

The short answer based on stat indicators and recent form is probably not with an outright NO possibly clearing the fog quickly. After winning 11 of its last 12 games, New York is currently 24 games over .500. Dropping three of its last five at home to Toronto and the Chicago White Sox, Boston is just six games over. 500.

London’s calling to say this might not be much of a clash. 

If the Yankees slow from their current .650 pace to play .600 the rest of the season, Boston would have to finish 57-23 to catch them. It’s no sure thing that the Yanks are going to cool off. 

This highly anticipated trip to the Thames provides a nice bridge from the first half of the season to the second. The Red Sox just played game #81 (out of 162) Tuesday night. The Yankees will play #81 Saturday. Let’s look at some key midseason indicator stats. 

Run Differential

New York is 97, Boston 54. The Red Sox have dropped noticeably from 229 in their 108-win 2018 campaign.

Records vs. Teams over .500

As we’ve discussed in prior reports, Boston has struggled badly in litmus tests. The Sox are just 17-22 (.435) against teams with winning records. The Yankees haven’t lost a step, posting a strong 20-11 (.645) mark. 

Road Offense

Regular readers know that VSiN encourages bettors to focus on road stats when evaluating baseball teams. This significantly reduces pollution that can be caused by home ballpark influences. 

New York is averaging an astonishing six runs per game on the road this season. Boston is more than a half-run back at 5.4. While both teams have posted batting averages of .263 in road games, the Yankees are getting more runners on base (.345 to .340 in on-base percentage), and thriving in the area of bangers and mash (.459 to .441 in slugging percentage). 

Health

New York has been on a three-month tear despite having several key stars miss much of the season. Boston’s been much healthier in comparison.

All that adds up to one-sided market sentiment regarding Boston’s AL East hopes. The William Hill sportsbook currently has the Yankees at -475 to win the AL East (risk $475 to win $100, or anything in that ratio). That’s a win equivalent of 83%. Boston is 8/1 (risk $100, to win $800, etc..) for a win percentage of only 11% (sports books build a universe larger than 100% to create a house edge: Tampa Bay is currently 18% to win the division). 

The Yanks will likely rule the AL East. Who will rule Britannia? Bettors will have to make their final call once they see game day money lines.

 

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