Q: Hey, I enjoyed your answer to my previous question about the MLB playoffs, so I’m back again. The Yankees lost both of the first two games at home against the Tigers in the ALCS. How often have teams come back from similar holes?
—Kyle, from somewhere.
A: Boy, the Yankees sure appear to be in a whole heap of trouble, don’t they?
Captain Derek Jeter is out with a broken ankle, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez are a combined 5-for-55 (.091) in the playoffs, and now New York has to avoid an 0-3 hole on the road against Detroit ace Justin Verlander.
All of this has led to the following series price at BetOnline.
Furthermore, history is not on the Yankees’ side. Like, at all.
From the New York Times:
Only three of the previous 23 teams to lose the first two games of a best-of-seven series in the postseason at home were able to win the series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Yankees will try to add their name to that short list, joining the 1985 Kansas City Royals, the 1986 Mets and, yes, the 1996 Yankees, all of whom rallied from their 2-0 deficit to win the World Series, and all of whom began their comebacks by winning Game 3 on the road.
So, only three of 23 teams have ever done it, or 13 percent. The break-even point at +495 odds is 16.8 percent, so it’s not a very wise bet to make.
If you think the Yankees can pull it off, they pretty much have to win tonight. So why not just take your stab on them as +166 underdogs and then assess your options from there?