No offense to the fine fans in Michigan, but this season's New York Yankees should never be swept in a series by the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit took all three games from the Yankees this past weekend. The first game was in extra innings, but the Tigers took the final two games 6-1 and 6-2. The Tigers were 19-31 before sweeping the Yankees.
Whatever is wrong with the Yankees, they better figure it out fast. The Tampa Bay Rays, in first place of the AL East, come to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series starting Monday. The Yankees are -115 favorites for Monday's game at BetMGM.
The Yankees had MLB's second-highest win total at BetMGM before the season, at 95.5. They're 29-23 after a lost weekend in Detroit, meaning they'll need to go 67-43 the rest of the way to hit the over. The Yankees are talented enough to do that, but not if they keep having prolonged slumps.
The Yankees have had many injuries, but a team with their payroll can't complain about depth issues. The Yankees had a bad start to the season, hitting a low point at 6-11 to start the season. They rebounded and got to 29-20 before hitting Detroit, where they dropped three games and didn't look particularly good in doing it. Right before that, the Yankees dropped two of three at home to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees offense has been mediocre, ranking 18th in team OPS in MLB. The pitching has been fine, with the Yankees ranking fourth in team ERA. But when hitters like Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, Rougned Odor, Clint Frazier and Mike Ford are all either playing under their normal level or hitting below .200, it's hard to overcome it. Having players like Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list hasn't helped either.
The Yankees need to keep the Rays from getting too far ahead. The Rays are 4.5 games ahead of New York going into the Memorial Day game. Monday's opener has Rays starter Rich Hill, who has a 0.91 ERA in May, against Yankees starter Jameson Taillon, who is coming off a good start against the Chicago White Sox but has a 5.06 ERA for the season.
The Rays are a quality team, Hill is hot and the Yankees had a rough week. The Rays are slight underdogs and there's no good reason why. The Rays are the play as the Yankees try to get out of a slump.
Let's take a first look at the Memorial Day betting slate:
Do we have any classic NBA playoff matchups?
Memorial Day usually gives us some good NBA playoff action, but it's hard to call either game on Monday a great matchup.
The Philadelphia 76ers are looking for the sweep against the Washington Wizards, and are 7.5-point favorites. The Wizards were great against the spread late in the regular season, but can't stop Joel Embiid and motivation is always a concern when a team is down 3-0 in a series.
In the West, the Utah Jazz are 5.5-point favorites over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies' upset win in Game 1 offered hope that this could be a great series, but the Jazz quickly righted themselves when Donovan Mitchell returned and are up 2-1.
Both favorites look like the right side on Monday, after three of four favorites covered in the NBA on Sunday.
Is there a big MLB slate?
As usual, Memorial Day is a great one for baseball. There are 14 games on the MLB schedule, 11 of which start in the afternoon. Rays-Yankees is probably the best matchup, but we also get San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox playing a doubleheader at Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets taking the mound at the Arizona Diamondbacks. That's a quality day of baseball.
The Astros, Cardinals and Rays look like the best plays on a strong MLB card.
What about the NHL?
The NHL playoffs probably have the more intriguing matchups on Monday, compared to the NBA. The Montreal Canadiens try to complete a huge comeback and eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7. The Maple Leafs are -200 and while they were the best team in the regular season, grabbing the Canadiens at +170 seems to be the better play. The Leafs will be under a ton of pressure, given their playoff history and the 3-1 lead in this series. The last two games were overtime wins by Montreal, and the odds of Monday's game going to overtime are +325 at BetMGM.
The Boston Bruins are also -200 favorites, and while they're the better team, it's also worth looking at the New York Islanders as +170 underdogs. The Islanders were only one game worse than the Bruins in the regular season, had an impressive first-round showing knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins and the line seems a bit too high.
Who cashed tickets on Sunday?
The biggest headline from Sunday was the Phoenix Suns not only beating the Los Angeles Lakers, but doing it in a convincing manner. That Game 4 win evened the series, and Anthony Davis' injury could change the entire outlook of the series. Sunday's game at Staples Center could end up being a seismic shift in the NBA playoffs.
The rest of the NBA schedule on Sunday wasn't good for underdogs or compelling games. The Atlanta Hawks beat the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks, and all three games were blowout wins by the favorite.
The NHL had a shocking outcome, as the favored Colorado Avalanche beat the Vegas Golden Knights 7-1. Colorado is 5-0 these playoffs, just destroyed a team that was thought to be its main competitor in the West and looks like the best team in the NHL by a wide margin. The Avs are the favorite to win the Stanley cup at +190 at BetMGM.
NASCAR bettors looked smart on Sunday. There was so much action on Kyle Larson to win the Coca-Cola 600 that his odds dropped from +600 to +350, and Larson won every stage of the race for the victory.
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