The Daily Sweat: Subway Series might just be a World Series preview
The New York Yankees have the best record in MLB again, thanks to a loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night. They've been the best team in baseball for most of the way, and the Bronx Bombers are current World Series favorites at BetMGM.
This is nothing new for the Yankees. They're always near the top of the standings. They haven't had a losing record since 1992. They've made the playoffs in five straight seasons and 23 of the last 27 years. Winning is the expectation in the Bronx. The same can't be said about their crosstown rivals in Queens, however. The Mets made a surprise run to the World Series in 2015, but outside of that, they've played one singular postseason game since 2006.
Despite the one-sided nature of the rivalry from an overall success perspective, the Subway Series is always fun. Bragging rights are on the line across the entire state. Baseball is woven into the fabric of New York sports culture, and the two teams couldn't be more different. The Yankees are all elegant and professional and classy, with their neatly trimmed facial hair and high expectations. The Mets are more rugged and embody the classic underdog. Their fanbases tend to mimic their teams' image.
While the Subway Series is always looked forward to, it's especially exciting this year. The Yankees and Mets are two of the very best teams in the league. The Mets have the fourth-best record in baseball and the second-best record in the National League. Both New York teams are in the top four most likely teams to win the World Series, according to the futures market at BetMGM.
This might just be a preview of the Fall Classic in late October. At BetMGM, a Yankees-Mets World Series is the third most likely potential matchup according to the odds. Only Yankees-Dodgers and Astros-Dodgers is more likely. You can get +800 odds on the two New York teams to meet in the World Series. The teams only met in the World Series one other time, when the Yankees beat the Mets in five games in 2000.
Tuesday's game is a big one
Bragging rights among the fanbases and sports talk radio fodder are not the only things at play when the Yankees meet the Mets these next two upcoming games. Despite both teams being amongst the very best in the league, there's some angst amongst the fanbases regarding how the teams have played the last few weeks. The trade deadline is just a week away, which only adds to the anxiety.
The situation is far less dire for the Yankees, though it hasn't been an ideal month of July. The Yankees are just 10-10 in the month so far, and the Houston Astros have closed the gap immensely for top record in the American League. However, the Yankees still have a 12.5-game lead in the AL East.
As for the Mets, they are 14-13 in their last 27 games. The situation for them is even more pressing because the Atlanta Braves have erased a double-digit deficit in the division race and are now just two games behind the Mets.
The Yankees are the slightest of favorites on Tuesday night at Citi Field. The Mets are small -105 home underdogs. Taijuan Walker will take the mound for the boys from Queens, while Jordan Montgomery will be on the bump for the Yankees. Both pitchers have had very solid seasons with Walker holding a slight edge in terms of ERA. Oddsmakers are projecting this one as a complete tossup. In terms of July baseball, it doesn't get much more intriguing than this.
The rest of the MLB slate
It's a full 15-game slate across the MLB on Tuesday, with 14 of the 15 games occurring at night. The lone afternoon game features the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are significant -175 home favorites after winning the series opener on Monday.
While it's still only July, there are some intriguing matchups between teams that find themselves on the playoff bubble.
The Toronto Blue Jays have won six games in a row to propel themselves to the top wild card spot in the American League. Toronto is a -225 favorite at home with Jose Berrios on the mound against the Cardinals. The Cardinals currently occupy the final wild card spot in the NL, holding a 0.5-game lead over the Phillies.
Speaking of the Phillies, they are slight home underdogs with Aaron Nola on the mound. Nola will be opposed by current NL Rookie of the Year favorite Spencer Strider. The Braves are -120 favorites despite blowing a late lead last night courtesy of a home run from Bryson Stott in the eighth.
There are two other games that will have an impact on the AL wild card race. Current AL Cy Young favorite Shane McClanahan takes the mound for Tampa Bay, and the Rays are sizable -190 road favorites as a result. Elsewhere, the Red Sox are -145 home favorites against the Cleveland Guardians.
Anything else on?
As usual in these dog days of summer, there's not much going on.
England is a slight favorite against Sweden in the Women's Euro. Yahoo Sportsbook's Nick Bromberg takes a look at those odds here.
There's some tennis on and one WNBA game, but outside of that, not much else. On the bright side, all 32 NFL training camps are now officially open. It's so close we can almost taste it.