The Boston Red Sox will have a golden opportunity to pad their lead atop the American League East standings when they open a crucial four-game weekend series against the second-place New York Yankees on Thursday as slim -130 favorites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston enjoyed a day off Wednesday, in the middle of a 10-day homestand, after closing out a brief two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 3-1 loss. However, the Red Sox maintain a 5.5-game lead over New York going into Thursday night’s Yankees vs. Red Sox betting matchup at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have built their lead in the AL East during a 26-8 run that began in late June, and includes a 15-4 record in their past 19 games on home turf. Boston also has recorded consecutive losses on just one occasion during its current tear, and has avoided back-to-back defeats since falling to the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox on June 7 and 8.
Despite their recent strong play, which leaves them in possession of the best record in Major League Baseball, the Red Sox have been unable to crack the top of the World Series odds, where they now trail both the defending champion Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers as a +500 wager.
The Red Sox hope to strengthen their bid to be considered World Series favorites with a dominant performance against the rival Yankees. However, the club has struggled with consistency in recent dates with New York, going 4-5 in nine meetings this season, and a meagre 6-9 in their past 15, according to the OddsShark MLB Database.
Boston has fared slightly better in recent home meetings with the Yankees, taking two of three from New York in a high-scoring series in mid-April, and going 14-8 in 22 dates at Fenway Park since the start of the 2016 MLB campaign.
The Yankees make the trip to Boston as +120 underdogs after closing out a six-game homestand Wednesday afternoon with a 7-5 loss to the last-place Baltimore Orioles as heavy -275 favorites.
The loss ended the Yankees’ first three-game win streak since mid-June, and extended a stretch of mediocrity during which they have gone 18-16 while tally consecutive victories on just five occasions.
New York remains in striking distance of Boston in the race for top spot in the AL East, but continues to trail the Red Sox with +220 odds of winning its first divisional crown since 2012.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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