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Yankees and Mets all square on odds going into Subway Series

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The New York Mets and New York Yankees, each of whom can stand to get a sweep to sustain their Wild Card hopes, meet this week in their annual Subway Series. Each team is listed at -110 on the moneyline at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for Monday’s opener.

The Mets come into the four-game split series – Monday and Tuesday at Citi Field, then a move to the Bronx for Wednesday and Thursday – with slightly more forward momentum than the Yankees, although that says little.

The Mets are just 7-9 since the All-Star Break, but they weren’t sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline like the Yankees, who off-loaded two-thirds of the front of their bullpen by trading Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs and flipping Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians for prospects.

The Yankees, who will not face Mets ace Noah Syndergaard this week, have won 11 of the teams’ last 20 matchups according to the OddsShark MLB Database. The total has gone over nine times.

The Mets have fifth starter Logan Verrett against veteran Yankees LHP CC Sabathia in the pitching matchup for Monday. Verrett has been in his element in his home ballpark, with a 3.29 ERA at Citi compared to an ugly 5.00 on the road. The Mets are 2-3 in Verrett’s home starts, but two of the losses came against aces Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright.

Sabathia’s teams are 5-5 in his last 10 road starts in August. The Mets are 13-13 against lefty starters.

All-star right-hander Jacob deGrom, who works for the Mets on Tuesday, has limited hitters to a .589 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging) in his 10 home starts. However, Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka has been an excellent road starter, with a 1.94 ERA and a .566 OPS allowed. Tanaka has a 1.20 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.

The Mets are slated to start LHP Steven Matz at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. The Mets are 3-7 in Matz’s last 10 starts, and the total has gone under eight times. However, the Yankees are 14-19 against lefty starters.

Inconsistent Ivan Nova is scheduled to start for the Yankees. Nova has pitched one-run ball in three of his last five starts, but he has allowed nine home runs and issued 16 bases on balls in 52.2 innings at the Stadium this season. That combination can be lethal for a pitcher.

In the finale on Thursday, the Mets’ ageless RHP Bartolo Colon will return to one of his former home parks. One pattern of note with Colon is that the total has gone over in nine of his last 10 road starts in August. His teams are 5-5 in those matchups.

The Yankees’ Nathan Eovaldi has had a run of three decent starts since going back in the rotation, but his ratio of just 11 strikeouts against six walks over his last 18 innings is not a good omen.

Interleague play has been relatively kind to the Mets. They are 6-4; the Yankees are 5-8.

Value in 2018 MLB Pennant Odds Ranges Beyond Astros, Yankees, Dodgers

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Only three teams have won consecutive pennants in the last 16 Major League Baseball seasons, which should be a nudge to look beyond the teams about to unfurl flags celebrating 2017 success.

Three weeks out from Opening Day, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros and the New York Yankees are +275 co-favorites on the odds to win the 2018 American League pennant  and the Los Angeles Dodgers have the National League’s top prop at +225, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Astros have a strong chance to repeat as AL champions thanks to the prospect of having a full season of both Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in the starting rotation, which should upgrade a pitching staff that had just the 11th-best earned-run average in MLB in 2017. The hype over the Aaron Judge-Giancarlo Stanton show has pushed the Yankees’ price below 3-to-1, but a wait-and-see approach should be taken with New York, since both sluggers could regress.

The Cleveland Indians (+325) and Boston Red Sox (+600) round out the top of the AL board. The Minnesota Twins (+1800), who have quietly improved and play in a shallow AL Central division, could be a surprise.

Over in the National League, the Dodgers still look scary at bat and on the mound and could benefit from getting a push in the NL West, where the San Francisco Giants (+1000), Arizona Diamondbacks (+1200) and Colorado Rockies (+1800) have no time for tanking. Iron sharpens iron, after all.

The Washington Nationals (+350) and Chicago Cubs (+375) likely won’t face such a deep group of challengers in their respective divisions, the NL East and NL Central. Since the Nationals are in a now-or-never situation with one-time MVP Bryce Harper due to become a free agent, there is some appeal in putting a bet down just to tap into that urgency in Washington. The Cubs should field a playoff-calibre team, but whether they ever re-capture their 2016 postseason magic remains to be seen.

It’s probably best to fade the St. Louis Cardinals (+900) and the aforementioned Giants, whose prices on the 2018 National League pennant odds owe more to history or recent success than the outlook on the field in 2018. Bettors seeking a sleeper have a far greater return by taking, say, Colorado, which has an exciting lineup built around third baseman Nolan Arenado and made the 2017 playoffs with the second-youngest pitching staff in all of MLB.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Dodgers head into spring training as World Series betting favorite

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While trading for Giancarlo Stanton gives the New York Yankees a pair of 50-home run hitters in their lineup, the sharps still believe pitching and depth are the name of the game in World Series futures.

Coming off a seven-game loss in the 2017 Fall Classic, the Los Angeles Dodgers are +500 favorites on the 2018 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. As spring training gets underway in Arizona and Florida, there’s a big three at the top of the board, with the aforementioned Yankees (+550) and the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros (+550) offering a just slightly higher price than the Dodgers.

Major League Baseball has gone 17 consecutive seasons without a repeat champion and only three teams (2008-09 Philadelphia Phillies, 2010-11 Texas Rangers and 2014-15 Kansas City Royals) have made back-to-back World Series appearances. It’s possible the game is overdue for a change.

Both Houston and Los Angeles had more than 100 regular-season wins in 2017 despite the fact the best pitchers on either staff, the Astros’ Justin Verlander (late August trade) and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (injury), weren’t around for the full season. However, both teams still have a young core.

Adding Stanton as a big bat to go with Aaron Judge means the Yankees’ price has dropped by half from an opening +1100, days after the World Series. However, with TV analyst-turned-skipper Aaron Boone as a rookie manager, the Yankees will be trying to become only the fifth team to win the World Series with a first-year manager. Only one of the previous four – the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks – has come since the wild-card era began.

The Washington Nationals (+800), Cleveland Indians (+850), Boston Red Sox (+1000) and Chicago Cubs (+1000) are the only other teams at 10/1 or less. Considering its success over the last two seasons, Cleveland could be undervalued. Wariness about Washington stemming from its failure to advance past the NLDS is understandable, but the Nationals are in a do-or-done scenario with superstar rightfielder Bryce Harper in his contract year.

Adding Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, a pitcher-outfielder, has brought the Los Angeles Angels’ price down to +2800, from an opening +5000. Expecting one player to have that much impact in his first season stateside seems like a tall order.

The deep sleeper might be the Colorado Rockies (+5000), who have one of MLB’s most productive infields with third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and shortstop Trevor Story. Colorado’s prospects are contingent on either wrestling the NL West title from the Dodgers or winning the “best of one” wild-card series.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.