Shane Lambert things the surging New York Yankees are big value for the Amercian League Championship series at 40/1 with William Hill.
The August/September New York Yankees are a much different team now than they were in the earlier parts of the season. Firstly, Alex Rodriguez retired and that ended his fruitless at-bats. Secondly, the Yankees have received distinguished production out of Gary Sanchez, a player that was called up in very early August. The great thing about a season that features as many games as the Major League Baseball season is that even this late in the campaign, it's not too late for a team to get right back into the playoff picture.
Before Rodriguez played his final game on August 12th, he asked if he could field at third base. Manager Joe Girardi flatly denied the request, claiming that the Yankees were "still in the business of trying to win games" (August 11th). That is business that the pinstripes have certainly attended to recently and it has gotten them back into the thick of things.
In their last 25 games the Yankees have posted a .640 winning percentage. Recently they swept the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that sit above New York in the standings. It was that result that really highlighted New York as contenders for a playoff spot. Now, entering the weekend of September 10th, they aren't far out of the Wild-Card picture at all - sitting just one game back.
When it comes to futures betting, it's important to realize that the odds don't always get adjusted quickly with all sportsbooks. The Yankees' current betting odds with some firms seem to reference their poor start as opposed to what they have done lately. William Hill have the Yanks priced at 40/1 to win the ALCS, odds that under-rate their chances. Compare that to Betway's odds of 18/1, odds that I still think are worth taking, and you can see how a firm that lags behind the rest can offer great value.
If you really break things down mathematically then the Yanks are clearly the team to take right now. Over 140 games to date, the Blue Jays have won just two more games. However, Toronto is 4/1 to win the ALCS while New York is ten times longer. The odds aren't based on anything mathematical or scientific and that creates angles for punters to recognize value.
I'm normally prone to go with conservative bets at long odds, however the thing with the Yankees is that the league loves them. They are a TV-ratings magnet and I can't help but think that the league would want nothing more than Boston vs. New York in the ALCS. Needless to say, New York's odds are in danger of shortening in the next few days so be sure to act sooner than later.
2-pt bet on the Yankees to win the ALCS at 40/1 with William Hill