The Daily Sweat: Astros try to slow down the Yankees, and good luck with that

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The Houston Astros are 43-25. They lead the AL West by 10 games. That's an amazing start.

They're still 7.5 games behind the New York Yankees for best record in the American League.

The Astros and Yankees start a series on Thursday. It's a showdown between division leaders, but it's hard to see both teams as equals.

The Yankees are 51-18, an absolutely incredible record as we near the midpoint of the season. The Yankees are -130 favorites over the Astros at BetMGM, and maybe that's not short enough odds. It's not like anyone is beating the Yankees lately. They're on pace for 120 wins. The 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners share the single-season record with 116 wins.

Obviously, the Yankees have been good to bettors too. Covers.com tracks how much money a team would make for a hypothetical bettor who bets $100 on every game, and the Yankees would have made a $1,414 profit for that bettor. That's the top mark in baseball, which is impressive considering that the Yankees are usually favored and often have to lay a large number. But they just keep winning, regardless of the odds.

Perhaps the Astros can slow the Yankees down. They are a good team, with Framber Valdez and his 2.78 ERA on the mound Thursday. But it's really hard to bet against the Yankees this season. Bettors have lost a lot of money if they've been trying.

New York Yankees' Jose Trevino tosses his bat after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
New York Yankees' Jose Trevino tosses his bat after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:

College World Series has a big game

Oklahoma has a spot in the final championship series of the College World Series. Ole Miss nearly joined them, but they couldn't tie Wednesday's game against Arkansas despite loading the bases in the ninth inning. Arkansas won, setting up a winner-take-all game Thursday. The winner goes on to meet Oklahoma for the CWS championship. Arkansas is a small favorite to beat Ole Miss again and advance.

WNBA has four games

There's a four-pack of WNBA games, if you don't love baseball. The best game is the Washington Mystics at the Seattle Storm. The Storm is a 2.5-point favorite.

MLB has 10 games

The biggest game among the 10 in MLB, other than Astros-Yankees, is the final game of the NL Central showdown between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. The teams came in tied for first place, Milwaukee won the opener and then St. Louis won the next two games. The Brewers are a slight -115 favorite in the final game, which has big ramifications in the standings.

What's the best bet?

It feels square to take the Yankees, especially when they're favored just about every night. But when an MLB team is winning 73.9 percent of the time, it's OK to keep putting your money on them until they cool off. Let's go with the Yankees to keep rolling against the Astros.

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