Coming Down The Stretch: Where The Phillies Stand As The MLB Playoffs Loom

The Philadelphia Phillies odds of making the MLB playoffs are much better than the New York Mets, but the New York Yankees are the team to watch.

The Philadelphia Phillies weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays is going to be filled with tense moments.

How it plays out will determine whether or not the 2020 Phillies squad is a postseason contender. Yes, the playoffs are starting next week.

Welcome to the most exciting part of MLB betting season.

The New York Mets, on the other hand, are on the brink of officially being eliminated. As of this morning, their chances of making the playoffs were down to 1.7%.

Over in the American League, the New York Yankees have clinched a playoff spot. The Bronx Bombers head into today’s game as the No. 5 seed. This could change once today’s scores are final.

Basically, with each team still having three or four regular-season games left to play, the standings are tight enough that there is plenty still up in the air.

The good news is there is still time to place a postseason wager. Here is a look at the futures still available via NJ sports betting apps.

What are the Phillies odds of making the MLB Playoffs?

The Phillies are struggling at the wrong time.

When they opened a four-game series against the Washington Nationals this week, every game obviously had postseason implications.

So dropping three of the four didn’t help the Phillies chances. They went from being the No. 8 seed (second NL Wild Card team) to the No. 10 seed.

But the Phillies are still in the hunt.

Wednesday’s 12-3 victory over the Nats, combined with losses from other teams in the mix, increased the Phillies odds of making the playoffs.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, the odds of making the playoffs were closer to 30%. The percentage has increased to 49.6%, but will likely shift again after today’s games are played.

Here is a closer look at where the Phils stood as of this morning:

The first is clinching one of the two Wild Card spots. With several teams still in contention, a sweep of the Rays will put the Phillies two games above .500. But the Rays are hot tickets to win the World Series.

Could a 30-30 record do the job?

Possibly.

Losing two or three of the games will only complicate the playoff formula.

The second option: The Phillies could also get in by overtaking the Miami Marlins for second place in the NL East standings.

Yes, we’re talking about the same team that won seven out of the 10 games during the season.

The Marlins, who hold the advantage over he Phils, enter tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves up a half-game in the standings. Atlanta has clinched the division crown and is currently the National League’s No. 2 behind the Dodgers.

New York Mets likely to miss the cut

For the Mets, a 2021 postseason run is a much more likely scenario at this point. The team is 25-31 with only four games against the already eliminated Nationals remaining.

New York took the field tonight two-and-half games behind the Phillies. So even though the Mets are still listed on the board, those futures bets from months ago can be tossed away.

These days, the bigger headlines are the off-the-field news of Steve Cohen finalizing his deal to buy the Mets.

So the smarter bet here may be the over/under line on how much money New York will spend during the off-season (if such a wager was actually on the board).

Looking at the National League betting field

So bettors who wagered on the Phillies or Mets to win the National League should hold those bet slips (even though the odds of either franchise winning remain a longshot).

The Los Angeles Dodgers, with an MLB best 38-16 record, are still the big favorites. Here is a look at the National League futures as of 10 a.m. ET.

Team DraftKingsFanDuel Fox Bet
Dodgers+130+145+135
Padres +500+500+450
Braves +600+600+600
Cubs +700+750+700
Reds +2000+1700+1700
Marlins +1800+1800+1800
Phillies +2000+1800+1800
Cardinals +1800+1800+1800
Brewers +2000+2300+2000
Mets +3300+3600+3000
Giants+2500+3600+2500

Are the New York Yankees still AL championship contenders?

Based on the current odds, the Yankees are still the American League team to beat.

But there is stiff competition. 

DraftKings Sportsbook has the odds of New York winning the AL crown at +280. However, the Rays (+300), who are up 3.5 games in the AL East standings, are hot on their tails. Plus, they won eight of the 10 games in the season series.

But the Yankees are getting healthy at the right time and have won 11 out of their last 13 games.

Based on the odds, there are several other teams with a legitimate shot of advancing to the World Series.

Here is a closer look at the American League playoff picture as of Friday morning.

World Series favorites and underdogs

So there is still a lot to be decided this weekend.

Teams will be locking in their respective postseason positions over the next several days.

Most bettors will likely defer from putting big money down on the Phillies to win it all. Between inconsistent play and other teams simply being deeper in talent, there are more attractive options out there.

Plus there is the fear of backing a really bad bullpen.

The Yankees, who are getting healthy again, are the more attractive option. Besides being 7-3 over their last 10 games, they have a +47 run differential.

The Dodgers (+122) and Padres (+79) are the MLB leaders in run differential. The Phillies are +3.

Come the playoffs, should the Fightin’ Phils make it, those numbers will not matter. When the 2020 season is on the line, winning the next game is what it’s all about.

And as far as winning it all goes, here are the current World Series favorites from DraftKings:

And you thought Sundays were only reserved for NFL betting.

Phillies Betting Buzz: Is Now The Time To Panic If You’re A Phillies Fan?

It’s the Mets vs. Phillies on Friday, but a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles dampens NJ sports betting hopes for Philadelphia. View Mets-Phillies odds.

Can the Philadelphia Phillies regroup? Or is this as good as it gets?

That’s the question bettors have about this underachieving team as the New York Mets come in for a three-game series beginning Friday night.

Jacob deGrom will pitch for New York; Spencer Howard will be on the mound for Philadelphia.

This will be a watch-and-wait deal for bettors. The Phillies were in a long rain delay at the start of Thursday’s scheduled Game 3 matchup with the Baltimore Orioles. They lost.

This will have a major effect on the moneyline at NJ online sports betting sites. Watch the betting lines after Thursday’s game (odds below as of 1:30 p.m. Aug. 14).

Mets vs Phillies Game 1 odds (Friday, Aug. 14)

Game 1: Mets (9-11) vs. Phillies (5-9)DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies+170
U 8.5 (-107)
+168
U 8.5 (-115)
+170
U 8.5 (-115)
+170
U 8.5 (-115)
Baltimore Orioles-200
O 8.5 (-113)
-196
O 8.5 (-105)
-200
O 8.5 (+100)
-200
O 8.5 (-105)

Where the Phillies stand

The Phillies lost a home series to the visiting Orioles. The Mets split a four-game set with the Washington Nationals, winning the last two.

The Phillies bullpen has allowed 21 runs in the last 11 innings, including seven in three innings Thursday night.

In-game and over-under bettors, that’s an important angle. It is likely the Phillies bullpen will be used in the mid- to late innings here.

Bettors view the runs line, giving 1.5 runs, as a value if the moneyline wager is too high. It might be with deGrom, who is often near -200.

It makes even more sense to Mets bettors because the team is 1-3 in one-run games in their 9-11 start. When they have won, they have won big.

The Mets prevailed on opening day 1-0 and haven’t won a single game by one run since. That’s 19 additional games. Are they due to win a close one soon?

The Phillies entered Thursday with a single one-run victory this season. It came against the New York Yankees last week. They had also dropped two straight one-run games to Baltimore.

Scheduling oddities and more

The teams have been playing very few three-game sets this year. Two- and four-game matchups have accompanied the 2020 campaign.

That said, the Mets have one three-game series win to their credit. The Phillies? Zero.

Another intangible for this Mets vs. Phillies matchup? Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil was carted off the field after slamming against the left-field fence to make a run-saving catch in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Nationals.

McNeil was unable to return to the dugout under his own power. The Mets’ batting leader last season, McNeil was hitting .293 in 17 games in 2020.

This is important to note both for Mets and over-under bettors if he is out of the lineup.

Who is pitching for the Mets vs. Phillies on Friday?

Howard (0-1, 7.71 ERA) will be making just his second career start.

Last Sunday, in the second game of a doubleheader, Howard allowed four runs, including two home runs, in 4 2/3 innings of a loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets tabbed an ace, deGrom, as their starter.

This is how good deGrom has been so far: He has a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA and a sterling 0.95 WHIP (base runners allowed per inning) through four starts.

A power pitcher, deGrom has 28 strikeouts in 22 innings. He had a monstrous 255 strikeouts in 204 innings last year.

Like some power pitchers, however, deGrom has developed a blister problem on his pitching hand. That has limited him to between five and six innings for most of his starts.

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Key betting factors for Mets vs. Phillies Game 1

The betting key in this game, in which Philadelphia should be an underdog, is whether the Phillies can drive deGrom’s pitch count high enough to shorten his night.

That means taking pitches, fouling-off deliveries and not swinging at the first offering.

The Mets, like the Phillies, are an up-and-down team. They stand at 9-11 after their four-game home split with the Washington Nationals.

New York has suffered some extraordinary meltdowns after coughing up ninth-inning leads with literally one strike remaining before a victory. They were beaten by double-digit runs the next game each time.

The Mets have played a full third of their 60-game season.

Both the Phillies and Mets have shown an absence of character.

The Phillies lost their recent series to the Baltimore Orioles, and bettors have to decide if these games are an omen for the rest of the season.

Phillies’ woes on offense

Philadelphia has wasted some excellent hitting by Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorious. They have also wasted good starting pitching from Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin on their recent homestand.

The 10-9 loss they suffered Tuesday to the Baltimore Orioles was their most disheartening of the season. Homers by Harper and Jean Segura had given them a 6-5 lead entering the ninth.

But closer Hector Neris blew the save and, with the score 6-6 in the ninth, the Phillies dropped a bases-loaded popup that produced two runs.

Commentator Ricky Botallico, a former Phillie, called the game “an embarrassment to baseball.”

But it was not an embarrassment to the in-game bettors of over 9.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook in this game.

One night later, the Phillies could not gain redemption. They were nudged by the Birds 5-4 and fell into last place in the National League East. The most frustrating aspect for Philadelphia was Eflin recording a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings.

As forecast here Tuesday, Eflin was able to stretch out beyond his previous four-inning stint and made it all the way through six. But the shaky  Phillies bullpen gave up another run, and the team could not come all the way back.

The Orioles, projected for only 21 wins at DraftKings Sportsbook, left town with nearly half of them in their pocket.

Phillies Betting Buzz: Can Philadelphia Bounce Back From A Tough Extra-Inning Loss?

The Orioles vs. Phillies game on Wednesday comes after a tough extra-inning loss. Here’s a game preview and odds for Orioles-Phillies Game 2.

Who are the Philadelphia Phillies?

The week that may define this team continues tonight in Game 2 of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Citizens Bank Park.

Wade LeBlanc is scheduled to pitch for Baltimore, while Zach Eflin is tabbed to take the bump for the Phillies. The Phillies, however, blew a ninth-inning lead and fell to the Orioles 10-9 in extra innings on Tuesday.

Given the recent efforts of both pitchers — LeBlanc being roughed up by the Miami Marlins for six runs in three-plus innings and Eflin holding the New York Yankees scoreless through four frames — the early-hunch edge goes to the Phillies.

The question for bettors will be what line is a fair price at New Jersey online sportsbooks.

It may be steep. FanDuel Sportsbook placed the Phillies at -180 and Baltimore at +156. The over-under of 10 runs at FanDuel will be a target, as the Phillies bullpen continues to falter.

Orioles vs. Phillies Game 2 odds

The odds below are as of 12 p.m. EST Aug. 12. 

Game 2: Orioles (8-7) vs. Phillies (5-7)DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies-195-180-188-191
Baltimore Orioles+165+156+160+160

A note for in-game bettors: The Phillies bullpen has yielded 40 runs in 35 innings for an ERA of 10.28.

They gave up 13 runs in the last two games, which only spanned five innings. That’s a scary ERA of more than 23.

This will be a consideration for either Baltimore or bets on the total runs as soon as the starter gets his pitch count up. And that may not be too long for Eflin.

Where the Phillies stand

Eflin comes in off an effective performance last week against the Yankees.

He allowed no runs on four hits in a four-inning stint, throwing a career-high number of sinkers. Eflin was limited to 77 pitches. He will probably be allowed to extend into the 90-100 pitch range here and be given the chance to complete five or six innings.

LeBlanc, meanwhile, simply looks to rebound from a rough outing.

orioles vs phillies

A few intangibles to consider: Will the Phillies be dejected from the game that got away from them Tuesday night or make a statement in this game?

A Tuesday victory would have put them at .500, with the prospect of five more home games this week. Instead, they are 5-7 and are not taking advantage of a hefty home schedule.

The Phillies have played fewer road games than any team in the league and will have a heavy-weighted road schedule after this week. This is the week they need to do well.

They face an important gut-check period. The Tuesday loss was a backbreaker for Philadelphia, which had gained hard-earned, four-game series splits with the Yankees and Atlanta Braves before looking at visits from the Orioles and New York Mets this week.

Familiar problems crop up

The Phillies are beginning to resemble their 2019 form, in which they finished .500, rather than the improved team they were expected to be with free-agent acquisitions Didi Gregorious, Zack Wheeler and championship manager Joe Girardi.

They often hit well but are paying the price for ignoring their most pressing concern — the lack of a closer — in the off-season.

It raises the concern that they can’t hold a late lead or capture a close game. Indeed, they have only had a single one-run victory the entire season.

The Phillies have not won a game in which they scored fewer than five runs. They needed double-digit run production three times and lost Tuesday with nine.

On the offensive side, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Gregorious are hitting well. But can they produce double-digit runs every game?

Baltimore is exceeding expectations

The Orioles have played good ball at the start of the young season.

Baltimore swept Friday and Saturday games from the defending champion Washington Nationals and led the suspended Sunday game 5-2. It was halted because of the weather after five frames.

Tuesday’s come-from-behind win made them 8-7 on the season with a three-game win streak.

They are also 10-5 against the spread, which counts a team as a 1.5-run underdog or 1 .5-run favorite.

Is there such a thing as a must-win this early in the 60-game season for the Phillies? Probably. If the Phillies capture this game, they can still eye a series victory.

A loss would be hard to take.

Phillies Betting Buzz: NJ Sportsbooks Put Revitalized Philadelphia As Co-Favorites Vs. Atlanta

Friday’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves is a trick. The game has NJ sportsbooks favoring both teams on the moneyline.

The rejuvenated Philadelphia Phillies, who just took two of three from the New York Yankees, host the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 7 (Friday night). In this game, however, NJ online sportsbooks view each team as being slightly favored.

The only real line movement was at PointsBet, in which the Phillies moved to -121 early Friday morning, up from -110. They have now settled at -115.

Braves vs. Phillies game odds

All odds are as of 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 7.

Braves (9-5) vs. Phillies (3-4)DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies-110-110-110-115
Atlanta Braves-105-104-105-105

And here’s an odds boost to catch before the game: DraftKings Sportsbook has boosted a Bryce Harper home run and Phillies victory to +665, up from +610.

Fox Bet also has a few odds boosts to check out, including Rhys Hoskins to hit the first OR last home run (was +350, now +450).

Of course, the Braves have won 11 of their last 12 against National League opponents following a win.

The Braves have scored 74 runs, the most in the NL. That has occurred over 14 games, giving them an average of slightly more than five per contest.

Here’s more of what to look for ahead of Friday’s Braves vs. Phillies:

Braves vs. Phillies pitching matchup

Vince Velasquez is slated to start for the Phillies. Kyle Wright is on the bump for Atlanta.

Velasquez did not look good in his first start of the season, being smoked by the Miami Marlins for four runs in three innings. The Phillies went on to lose 11-6 nearly two weeks ago.

He is a power pitcher — averaging more than a strikeout an inning for his entire career — but he is also susceptible to the long ball and the big inning.

Key batters he must get out include Ender Inciarte, who is hitting .400 against him lifetime, and Ronald Acuna, at .364.

In his last start, Wright gave up five hits and zero runs in 3.1 innings, helping the Braves get a 4-0 win over the New York Mets.

The key for Atlanta is whether he can stretch out and go at least five innings. Odds are he can.

Intangibles to keep in mind

Phillies closer Hector Neris threw 27 pitches in 1 1/3 innings of relief against the Yankees on Thursday. As usual, it was an adventure to the end. A deep fly ball with two runners on was caught, sealing the win.

The pitch total was right on the cusp of him needing a day of rest before appearing in another game. He may be available tonight, but it would be surprising if he then pitched Saturday, if you are looking at the weekend schedule.

The Braves lost ace Mike Soroka on Monday to an Achilles heel injury. But they, and the rest of baseball, received good news Wednesday when Nick Markakis opted back into the season.

Markakis had said he would sit out the season because of COVID-19 concerns but was activated Wednesday. On Thursday, he hit a walk-off homer as the Braves beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-3.

Phillies are ringing the bell

The Phillies look like a revitalized team this week.

They took two of three from the best team in baseball, notching a doubleheader split Wednesday against the New York Yankees and defeating them Thursday night, 5-4.

Thursday, a three-run homer by J.T. Realmuto gave the Phillies a first-inning lead they did not relinquish.

The Yankees had not lost in 11 days before the Phillies defeated them twice in two days.

Phillies and Braves chasing Marlins’ tails

Philadelphia improved to 3-4 on the season and seeks to parlay the Yankee series into good performances against the rest of the league.

In three of their four games this week, the Phillies have hit the over in the over-under runs prop. It is between 9.5 and 10 at the major sportsbooks, not an easy call here.

Both the Phillies and the Braves are looking up in the National League standings at the Marlins, who are 6-1. The Marlins won three games in a row after a COVID-19-induced one-week delay.

Weekend sneak peek: Watch for another doubleheader

Thinking of the weekend action? Of course you are.

The Phillies have listed Jake Arrieta as their Saturday starter, and the Braves have tapped Max Fried as their Sunday pitcher.

A lot can change, but that’s a first glance.

Rain is expected Friday. If it calls off tonight’s game, a doubleheader Saturday or Sunday would be likely. Remember to factor that into the availability of closers.

They may not be available for both games, and if they are, they would likely skip the following day.

Phillies Betting Buzz: Pitching Must Be Right On Target For Yankees Doubleheader

A postponed game on Tuesday puts the Phillies vs. Yankees in a doubleheader on Wednesday. Here are Phillies vs. Yankees odds and four tips before you bet.

The Philadelphia Phillies are back home Wednesday for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, starting at 4:05 p.m.

It will be their first home game in 10 days.

Bearing in mind that all doubleheaders this year will be seven innings, here’s a little betting buzz for the Phillies vs. Yankees.

Two games. Fourteen innings. Lots of what-ifs.

Phillies vs. Yankees doubleheader odds

Game 1 (4 p.m. ET)DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies+120+110+105+105
NY Yankees-139-128-120-125
Game 2 (7 p.m. ET)*DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies+108+112----
NY Yankees-124-128----

*Note: Game 2 starts 30 minutes after Game 1 ends. Both games are seven innings.

Watch the Yankees’ pitchers and Phillies’ hitters

The Phillies announced their pitchers, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, for the doubleheader. The Yankees have JA Happ and Jordan Montgomery.

Both teams had a scheduled Tuesday rainout to consider their lineups. The Yankees have played nearly every day this season, and their pitching staff is spread more thinly.

They also have a big weekend series coming up in Tampa Bay. This bodes well for the Phillies.

The Phillies bats did not look rusty Monday night in a 6-3 loss to the Bronx Bombers in Yankee Stadium. They had eight hits and scalded several balls in the sixth inning against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole.

Although Cole got the win and became 3-0, the Phillies swung the bats well. Middle relief is what cost them the game.

Phillies’ pitching is key in doubleheader

These games “lay right” for the Phillies, and there is a good chance they can win at least one of them.

Nola and Wheeler are probably their two best pitchers and looked sharp in their debuts against the Miami Marlins a few days back. Wheeler obtained the only Phillies win of the season, going seven strong innings in a 7-1 Phillies triumph.

He looked every bit like the pitcher they thought they were getting via the free-agency route. Wheeler had his best year in 2019, striking out 195 batters. In his Phillies debut, he went seven innings and gave up one run, only five hits, and no walks.

Nola tossed five strong innings in his debut against Miami but ran into a sixth-inning snag and fell behind. Mid-inning relief cost the Phillies dearly, and they lost the game 5-2.

Moneyline bets over enticing props

The moneyline will be the easiest thing for bettors to track.

DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, among other major NJ sportsbook apps, post enticing props such as five-inning and seven-inning outcomes.

The five-inning one may not change — wherever you want to bet, that’s what you play — but the seven-inning prop changes because the seventh may involve a team’s closer.

This is also going to affect the over-under runs total for the game, as the middle-inning relief pitching that often changes games — several eighth-inning bullpen blowups occurred throughout the league last week — won’t come into play during doubleheaders.

One might normally prorate a total, reducing the projected number by two innings, but the absence of the eighth inning makes that prop riskier.

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Bats likely won’t be silent, so watch the totals

Both teams generally hit well early in the game, if you want to consider the over 0.5 runs line for the first inning.

Five of the last six Yankees games have produced a first-inning run. The Yankees have absolutely smashed the ball in the opening frame. They did it again Monday, when DJ LeMahieu led off the game with a homer.

In previous games, Gio Urshela and Luke Voit hit grand slams early in the game for them. An in-game trend: The Yankees have hit a grand slam homer and three-run shot in recent games.

Both, ironically, came from Urshela. And then their offense shut down completely. Boom and bust. Keep that in mind for them.

An intangible to watch for might be Aroldis Chapman, who may or may not return for the Yankees in this series. The team’s closer will be in action soon.

The Phillies are 1-3 in the standings and against the spread. Given their long time off and the high expectations for them before the season, this is a big chance for them to make a statement.

MLB Betting Rewind: Doubleheaders Get A Trim And A Lesson On Trusting Your Gut

It was a busy first week of MLB’s return to play, despite several postponed games. But sports betting fans did learn a few things, and trends are emerging.

The New York Yankees could not lose, the Philadelphia Phillies could not play and the New York Mets could not find consistency.

That’s the summary of New Jersey online bettors’ favorite teams after an adventurous first full week of MLB’s return to play.

The Yankees were 5-0, the Mets 2-5 and the pandemic-detained Phillies were 0-0. And all three have hefty schedules this week.

For NJ sports betting fans, here’s what to know heading into this week’s busy MLB betting schedule.

Doubleheaders shaved to seven innings

Remember Friday’s forecast of several more doubleheaders coming into play because of the massive postponements?

The MLB went one step further Sunday, launching its first-ever twin bill with two seven-inning games between the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers.

It also announced that all doubleheaders this year will be shortened to seven innings.

That’s doubleheader light, like drinking beer from a smaller bottle. It’s been done in the minor leagues for years.

For bettors, this presents a quagmire, taking the key eighth inning out of play. This is the inning in which many bullpens collapse (like the Mets did Friday in Atlanta, giving up a four-run lead and the game).

It will also be hard for teams to wait out a star hurler who throws a lot of pitches and thus get into the bullpen.

Over-under bets will have a similar dilemma. It won’t be enough to simply prorate the runs total.

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Not normal times for MLB

The purists won’t like this setup, nor, presumably, will the cardboard cutouts disguised as live fans. But if a team is looking at three doubleheaders in three days, this may be the only solution for finishing the season.

Presumably, we won’t have to contend with this when normal baseball returns, hopefully, next season. There’s a lot of money that would normally be left on the table with seven-inning doubleheaders.

But these are not normal times.

Bettors will ultimately get a feel for how different teams approach the new length. Some clubs may allow starters to go the distance in the first game and preserve the bullpen for the second end.

Some teams will need to win all the time and may use their closers in each game.

It adds up to uncertainty, taking gamblers back to a central wagering theme. If data and your gut feeling unearth an angle, plunge. If not, pass.

Yankees are on a serious hot streak

The Yankees were money, going 5-0 both on the moneyline and covering the 1.5 run mark as they dismantled the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox.

They had one of the most perfect baseball weeks in the two-year history of legalized baseball wagering.

The Yankees continue to be a beloved machine to their backers.

They are delivering like clockwork, even as the numbers are prohibitive.

One often has to deliver at least a two-leg parlay to get even money or better. The 1.5 runs line at least produces a playable line.

The Yankees paid respectably on a Wednesday parlay with Joe Happ -255 and the over-under runs line of 11 standing at +100 at FanDuel. Trailing 6-5 in the ninth, the Yankees pushed across three runs and returned a parlay of +140.

Grand slam shuts down offense

You’ve heard baseball managers say that the worst thing to happen to a rally is a big home run right in the middle of it. That resets the stage, lets pitchers start over and reduces some of the intensity for batters.

Bettors saw that — twice — with the Yankees last week. They hit grand slams in Wednesday’s game against the Orioles and Saturday’s matchup with the Red Sox. And then their offenses went to sleep.

On Wednesday, Luke Voit launched a “grand salami,” putting the Yankees up 5-0 in the top of the first inning. The over-under was 11 at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the bettors thought they were cruising, especially after Baltimore made it 5-4 in the second inning.

But the Yankees were not heard from again until the ninth.

By then, they were losing 6-5, and they had fallen out of rhythm. But this great offense rallied for three runs, won the game 8-6 and covered the over-under.

When it happened three days later against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees jumped out to another 5-0 lead as Gio Urshela delivered his first-ever grand slam. The over-under was 11.5, but this was a great start.

And that’s where it stopped. The Yankees did not do another thing and won the game 5-2, but the under prevailed.

New York Mets: Zig, zag and sag

The New York Mets had a crazy pattern that defied expectations.

They won twice at Fenway Park as road dogs. And then they lost twice as home favorites to the same team. They followed with a repeat of the Choke Hangover, which prolonged a skid now standing at five.

It happened for the second time in a week Friday when the Mets squandered a six-run lead, including a four-run pad in the eighth inning, against the Braves. They were about to provide their bettors at DraftKings a nice return as a small dog. And then the roof caved in.

They surrendered five eighth-inning runs, lost 11-10 and got creamed 7-1 on Saturday, even as some big bettors weighed in on them at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Mets only had 42% of the tickets but 61% of the money as some of their big backers wagered.

As Yankee great and former Mets manager Yogi Berra once said, “It was déjà vu all over again.” The Mets had been one strike away from beating the Braves in the second game of the year last weekend. They surrendered a game-tying homer, lost in extra innings and got pasted 14-1 the following day.

Fragile teams reveal a lot about their character after a bad-beat type of loss. The Mets are showing an absence of toughness.

Betting variables: Trust your gut

Your edge develops from watching several games, sensing a pattern and playing into it.

Here was one for me from last week.

The San Francisco Giants rallied from a deficit to defeat the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night on a walk-off homer from Mike Yastrzemski. The body language of the players indicated they’d struck emotional gold.

For the next three nights at DraftKings or FanDuel, I rode the Giants on the over as their bats came alive. I also parlayed them to win the games outright.

I put $5 on a Giants victory and the over 8 on Friday against the Texas Rangers at DraftKings. It returned more than $20 when the Giants won 9-2.

Same thing Saturday when the Giants triumphed 7-3 as a -121 pick and the over-under being 8.5 runs at -112. The parlay returned nearly +250.

On Sunday, I took the Rangers and felt like a traitor after the Giants had been good to me. But the Rangers triumphed 9-5.

The lesson? There are certain teams you somehow get a feel for, maybe for a short time, perhaps a long stretch. For some reason, you are in sync with them.

Betting more money at those times will probably determine your outcome for the season.