The Toronto Blue Jays lead the New York Yankees by a half-game for the second AL Wild Card.
In order to maintain their playoff position, the Jays will need to approach their final 11 games as if every single one of them is a postseason contest.
The Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night to remain a half-game up on New York, which beat the Texas Rangers 7-1.
The Yankees have a much more difficult remaining schedule than Toronto.
The difference in schedules is reflected in the betting odds for both teams to make the playoffs.
This is the Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, edition of Morning Coffee.
Blue Jays maintain AL Wild Card lead
The Blue Jays entered Tuesday night’s matchup with Tampa Bay at -170 to make the playoffs.
Following the win, Toronto’s odds to make the postseason shortened all the way to -215.
According to FanGraphs, the Blue Jays have a 65.6 per cent chance to make the postseason.
After a second consecutive win over Texas, the Yankees are now -150 to make the playoffs. However, FanGraphs gives New York just a 39.3 per cent chance to reach the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox maintained their 1.5 game lead on the Blue Jays with a 6-3 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday night. Boston is now -800 to make the playoffs.
FanGraphs has the Red Sox at 92.3 per cent to qualify for the postseason.
The MLB playoff races are worth monitoring closely to find an edge on a nightly basis.
The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees all won on Tuesday night, while the Seattle Mariners picked up an important head-to-head win over the Oakland Athletics.
In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies all won as well.
Essentially, the Wild Card contenders that played an opponent that weren’t playing with the same sense of urgency went 6-1, with the Cincinnati Reds as the lone exception in an ugly 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Simmons wants out of Philly
The Philadelphia 76ers asked Ben Simmons to work on his game in the off-season. As it turns out, he has other plans.
The 76ers were +1800 to win the NBA championship before the news broke on Tuesday. As of this morning, Philadelphia is… +1800.
It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds throughout the off-season but considering Simmons didn’t attempt a single shot in the fourth quarter of Games 4 through 7 in an Eastern Conference semi-finals loss to the Atlanta Hawks, I’d bet that the 76ers’ title odds shorten if they end up trading Simmons for a package that includes a decent replacement at point guard.
CFL Week 8 kicks off tonight
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks will kick off Week 8 of the CFL season tonight on TSN.
I’ve seen the point spread for that game listed at anywhere from Hamilton -8.5 to -10.5, which leads to a very good question.
How often do you see a team starting its third string quarterback listed as a double-digit favourite on the road?
The Tiger-Cats are coming off a win and cover at home versus the Calgary Stampeders. Now they visit an Ottawa side that is 0-4 both straight up and against the spread since a Week 1 upset win over the Edmonton Elks.
Meanwhile, Hamilton has been the best team in the league when it comes to betting the under.
The Tiger-Cats are 5-1 to the under this season, including 4-0 to the under on the road.
NFL Week 3 early leans
Our NFL analyst Davis Sanchez has hit on his first Early Lean of the season in Week 2 when he recommended the Denver Broncos at -6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Personally, I thought that number was silly, locking in the Broncos as my best bet in our TSN Edge picks column for Week 3.
Denver won by double digits, improving to 2-0 straight up and against the spread.
Looking forward to Week 3, Davis jumped on the number for this week’s Sunday Night Football prime-time matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.
Personally, there are a couple of teams I jumped on via teasers early in the week.
I have the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars are two bottom-five teams, with the Jaguars at the bottom of my NFL power rankings.
This week, Houston and Jacksonville are hosting the 2-0 Carolina Panthers and the 2-0 Arizona Cardinals respectively, with both teams getting 7.5 points.
The opportunity to tease both favourites down seems too good to pass up, so I’ll give out Carolina and Arizona on a seven-point tease as an official recommendation this week.
I’d also lean towards the New York Giants -3 versus the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles +4 at the Dallas Cowboys.
For the most part, I want nothing to do with betting on NFC East teams.
Still, those numbers look good enough to give out a second teaser recommendation with a chance to get the Giants +3.5 and the Eagles +10.5 with a two-team, 6.5-point tease.