The Daily Sweat: Yankees try to stay hot behind surging Aaron Judge

The start of the season wasn't exactly what the New York Yankees wanted. It didn't help that reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge spent some time on the injured list due to a hip issue.

But now Judge is back, and so are the Yankees.

The Yankees won their fourth in a row Tuesday, and once again, Judge homered. He has four homers in New York's past three games and is up to 18 this season, which is remarkable considering his time on the IL.

Despite all of that, the Yankees are +115 underdogs at BetMGM against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday. The Mariners had been playing well, too, before the Yankees came to town.

The big question with Judge is if he can challenge for another MVP. Shohei Ohtani took a big lead in the MVP race, but Judge is gaining ground. His odds are down to +600 after his latest hot streak. Ohtani is still the big favorite at -130.

The Yankees are gaining on the rest of the AL as well. The Tampa Bay Rays are still five games up in the AL East, but New York is just two games behind the surprising Baltimore Orioles for second place. And there's a lot of time left for the Yankees to chase down the Rays in the division. New York is +425 to win the East, if you believe in them long-term.

The Yankees dealt with some injuries early in the season and generally didn't play that well the first few weeks of the season. That's turning around now. It helps that nobody can get Judge out.

The New York Yankees' Aaron Judge has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
The New York Yankees' Aaron Judge has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:

MLB rolls on

As we impatiently wait for the NBA and NHL championship rounds to start, MLB fills the void.

There are 14 games in MLB on Wednesday, including seven in the afternoon. Among the early games, the most interesting one includes ... the Oakland A's? Somehow, the A's have won two straight against the Atlanta Braves, with a walk-off winner Tuesday. The A's are off to a truly horrible start, the Braves are one of the best teams in baseball, and Atlanta dropped two to start the series. The A's are +200 to complete the sweep, if you're feeling lucky.

Among the late games, the Philadelphia Phillies need a win after getting nothing going against Kodai Senga of the New York Mets on Tuesday, and they send Aaron Nola to the mound. Nola, like the Phillies as a whole, is off to a disappointing start. But the Phillies are -120 to win Wednesday.

What's the best bet?

The Tampa Bay Rays have dropped the first two games of a series against the Chicago Cubs, but I don't think that will continue. The Rays are too good to get swept in Chicago, so give me Tampa Bay at -135 for the series finale.