The Yankees' Playoff Odds Fell From -1600 To +176 In Just One Month

With less than two weeks left in the MLB’s regular season, three AL East teams are in a tight battle for two spots ⚾️ (3 minute read)

American League Playoff Standings

With less than two weeks of regular season baseball left, the top teams from all three AL divisions have pretty much locked up a playoff spot

  • AL East: Rays have a 6.5 game lead on the Red Sox

  • AL Central: White Sox have an 11 game lead on the Indians

  • AL West: Astros have a 6 game lead on the A’s

However, the teams with the next two best records will duke it out in a single-game playoff for the AL Wild Card spot, and this race is as close as it gets…

Three AL East teams are in a tight battle — here’s where things stand if the season ended today

  • Wild Card Game host: Boston Red Sox, 1 game lead on Toronto

  • Wild Card Game visitor: Toronto Blue Jays

  • Eliminated: New York Yankees, 1.5 games back of Toronto

How’d We Get Here?

At the start of September, the Yankees held a two-game advantage over the Red Sox for the first Wild Card seed, a four-game lead over Oakland, and Toronto was a distant five games back

August 31st Playoff Odds:

  • Yankees: -1600 (bet $1600, win $100)

  • Red Sox: -225

  • Blue Jays: +500

Since then, the Yankees have gone 7-11, including a seven-game skid. Meanwhile, the Jays have won 15 of 18 contests, including an eight-game winning streak to open the month, and a four-game sweep of the Bronx Bombers

September 20th Playoff Odds:

  • Red Sox: -600

  • Blue Jays: -225

  • Yankees: +176

In less than three weeks, the Yankees have fallen from a virtual lock to make the playoffs to almost two-to-one underdogs

The Final Stretch

Yankees fans, don’t panic. Even though New York has just 12 games left to make up a 1.5 game gap, they are in complete control of their playoff destiny

Nine of their 12 games are against the three AL East teams ahead of them in the standings, including season-deciding series vs the Red Sox and Blue Jays. A sweep in either would almost certainly earn a playoff spot, while a series win would get them within a game

Still, despite their +176 odds to make the playoffs, FanGraphs is much more pessimistic about the Yankees’ chances

  • Red Sox: 89.8% playoff chance

  • Blue Jays 72.1% playoff chance

  • Yankees 28.6% playoff chance

AL Pennant Odds

While the Tampa Bay Rays have a 3.5 game lead on the Astros, Houston has the best odds in the American League to make it to the World Series

  • Astros: +195

  • Rays: +270

  • White Sox: +310

  • Red Sox & Blue Jays: +850

  • Yankees: +1200

Considering four of these six teams are from the AL East, the best division in the American League, betting on one of them to get hot in October seems like a smart move

But, if I were you, I’d definitely stay away from the Yankees. Remember, they opened up the season at +600 to WIN the World Series. Now, they are +176 just to make the playoffs and +1200 to win the AL Pennant