The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the +280 betting favorites to win the World Series at Mybookie.ag, and they should be. However, suddenly the New York Yankees do look like legitimate contenders to perhaps beat the Dodgers in the Fall Classic. New York is the +340 second-favorite.
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The Yankees will be well-rested for the start of their American League Division Series on Monday against Tampa Bay (+370 to win World Series) as the Bombers finished off the Indians in a two-game sweep in Cleveland on Wednesday night. The Yankees scored 22 total runs and hit seven homers in the two games. Those were the most runs scored and most homers all-time through a team’s first two games of a postseason.
New York won a wild game Wednesday 10-9 — DJ LeMahieu’s RBI single was the first go-ahead hit in the 9th inning or later of a postseason game for the Yankees since Raúl Ibañez hit a walk-off home run in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS against the Orioles. LaMahieu led the majors in batting this season.
The poor Indians have now lost 10 straight elimination games, the longest streak in postseason history. In fact, the two longest streaks were both extended on Wednesday as the Twins lost their 9th straight elimination game dating back to 2002.
We liked the Twins to come out of the American League but they have now lost an unthinkable 18 straight playoff games, the longest such streak in North American sports history. Minnesota still has not won a playoff game since Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS. The thing is, the Twins easily could have won both games against Houston but kept making boneheaded mistakes.
In Game 1, shortstop Jorge Polanco had a terrible error in the ninth inning – had his throw been accurate, the Twins come up in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win. Instead, Houston scored three runs after the error.
In Game 2, Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario was ejected after taking issue with a 3-1 pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning that appeared to be above the zone and got tossed by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez when he struck out on a foul tip moments later. Minnesota already was short on outfielders with Byron Buxton sidelined due to injury. Just a stupid, stupid thing by Rosario.
Nobody on the 2020 Twins team had a hand in more than six of the playoff losses, but for the second consecutive year one of baseball’s most potent lineups limped through a brief postseason cameo. In a three-game division series sweep by the Yankees last year, the Twins totaled seven runs and 22 hits. Against the Astros, they mustered only two runs and seven hits.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is now the +370 third-favorite to win the World Series after easily sweeping aside the Blue Jays in the Wild Card round on Wednesday. Designated hitter Randy Arozarena, in his first full season with Tampa Bay, was the offensive catalyst for the lineup in the team’s first two games this postseason, collecting three hits and scoring two runs in Wednesday’s series-clinching win against Toronto.
“We’ve been confident since Day One. So if we put our heads down and just do what we’ve been doing and prepare like we’ve been preparing, the sky’s the limit,” winning pitcher Tyler Glasnow said.
It was a disappointing finish for Toronto, which overcame a slow start to make a surprising run to its first playoff berth since 2016 with a roster featuring 19 players without previous major league playoff experience, including Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The Blue Jays should be very good next season.
Even though the Rays finished seven games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East, New York will be the ALDS favorite. That best-of-5 series will be played at neutral-site Petco Park in San Diego.
The Houston Astros also swept in the AL Wild-Card round and are +1200 to win their second World Series since 2017. After winning 101, 103 and 107 games in the past three regular seasons, winning the 2017 Fall Classic and losing the championship in seven games to the Washington Nationals last year, the Astros stumbled through the 2020 season at 29-31 under manager Dusty Baker. They had the third-worst road record in the major leagues, too, but won both games at Minnesota.
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