The State Of The State – New Jersey – May 2023

May 24, 2023

The State Of The State

Hold the phone.

Grab your glasses.

Is that a misprint?

The Yankees are not the favorite to win the AL East. In fact, they’ve been priced very favorably at +450.


That’s right. Better act now while they’re still sitting quietly in third place. In fact, if you’re reading this right now, read it silently. If it’s on your computer screen, take a quick look over your shoulder to make sure nobody else is looking.

More than likely, everyone knows the scoop by now. Or maybe they don’t? The Rays jumped out of the gates with an unprecedented flurry, storming to the top of the AL East and putting some distance between themselves and everyone else in the division. At the moment, the team that’s chasing the closest is the Baltimore Orioles, a nice story to be certain.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Yankees were in last place. That’s right, dead last in the East. But at a closer glance, they’re currently one of the hottest teams in baseball. Coming out of the weekend, the Yankees had won eight of their last 10 games.

They’re still in third place in the division, but there are several reasons to question how long that will last; there are multiple factors that indicate a storm could be brewing in the East.

First, the Rays have cooled off considerably. While the Yankees just went 8-of-10, the Rays have been playing .500 baseball of late. That’s not to say the Rays still aren’t a very solid baseball team – they are. But the law of averages is bound to surface, especially in a division as stacked as the AL East.

Second, superstar Aaron Judge missed significant time in late April / early May. Losing his pop in the lineup would hurt any team, even the Yankees. Lately, however, Judge has been on fire, hitting safely in every game since May 13. As soon as Judge returned, the Yankees proceeded to go 9-3.

And lastly, there’s always the issue of buying and selling. While the Rays and Orioles are putting together outstanding seasons, history suggests they won’t be spending huge money or giving up a ton of prospects even if they’re in position to contend at the trade deadline. Both teams are conservative by nature, building methodically and inexpensively. The Yankees, however, are no stranger to big spending and bold moves that double-down on their already massive investment to win. As long as they’re close, they’ll likely to something to get better.

All of that leads back to a simple truth: There’s no better time to bet on the Yankees than now. Before the season, New York was +700 to win the World Series. Now they’re +500 just to win the division. Regardless of what place they’re in, that’s value.

Bet now because the price will very likely never be better.

* Odds subject to change