The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas released MLB win totals and the New York Yankees are one of the highest on the board with a win total over/under at 95.5.
The Yankees would have to win 60% of their games in order to hit 96 wins and secure the over for a 95.5 o/u win total. During the pandemic-shorted season in 2020, the Yankees went 33-27 and won 55% of their games.
Aaron Boone guided the Yankees to 100-win seasons in his first two seasons as a manager. In 2018 during Boone’s rookie season as the Yanks’ skipper the Yankees went 100-62 and were knocked out of the ALDS by the Boston Red Sox. In 2019, the Yankees won 103 games with a record of 103-59 but they were knocked out of the ALCS by the Houston Astros. At this point, we all know the Yankees were robbed of a potential trip to the World Series by those cheating Astros.
Oddsmakers in Las Vegas do not think that Boone can secure another 100-win season. Diehards in the Bronx think that the win total of 95.5 over/under is too low. But can the Yankees reach the high 90s and hit the win totals over with a revamped rotation?
The Yankees are the second-highest on the MLB futures board at +600 odds to win the World Series, according to the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. After Blake Snell left the Tampa Bay Rays after he was traded to the San Diego Padres, the Yanks are favorites at -200 odds to win the AL East.
No More Bronx ER?
The Yankees were saddled with numerous injuries the last two seasons. They earned the “Bronx ER” moniker because so many starters kept going on the IL. That’s the impressive part about the 103 wins from 2019 considering that Boone won so many games with a minor league squad. If the Yankees can remain relatively healthy, then they could compete for 100-plus wins again. But that’s a big if in their case.
Both of the Yankees big bats, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, spent too much time on the IL during the last two seasons. When Stanton is healthy, he’s a beast. Same goes for Judge. If the Yanks’ gentle giant can avoid the IL, then he could compete for the home run title and MVP.
The Yankees made a wise move by resigning DJ LeMahieu, who won the AL batting title last season. With Judge and Stanton dinged up the last two seasons, LeMahieu became the Yanks’ most reliable starter and team MVP.
The Yankees also added veteran outfielder Brett Gardner for one more season. Gardy might not have much gas in the tank, and the Yankees signed him for peanuts, but he’s the only connection to the 2009 squad that last won the World Series.
Rolling the Dice on Kluber and Taillon
The Yankees decided to move on from three starters. Masahiro Tanaka opted to return to Japan for a season. James Paxton signed with his old team, the Seattle Mariners. JA Happ linked up with the Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees are gambling on two starters, Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon, that did not pitch last season. If that gamble pays off, then the Yankees should have an easy path to 100 wins. However, if either of those arms falter, then the Yankees could slip into a fierce AL Wild Card fight instead of winning the AL East division crown.
|2021 YANKEES PROJECTED STARTING ROTATION|
- Gerrit Cole
- Corey Kluber
- Jameson Taillon
- Jordan Montgomery
- Deivi Garcia
General manager Brian Cashman took a flier on good pitchers that were coming off injuries. Kluber is two-time CY Young winner and ex-ace of the Cleveland Indians. He broke his arm in 2019 and tore his teres major muscle in 2020. Taillon is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the comeback road is always different. Some recipients take a couple of seasons to return to their old form.
The Yankees hope that prospect Deivi Garcia will be ready to play his first full season in the Bronx. He’s nicknamed Little Pedro because of his uncanny resemblance to Pedro Martinez’s throwing motion on the mound.
The Yankees made Gerrit Cole the highest paid pitcher because he can wheel and deal in October when it matters the most. They hope that Kluber will be ready to throw down by the time the playoffs begin. Otherwise, it could be a long summer in the Bronx.
Kraken or No Kraken?
What will the Yankees do with Gary Sanchez? That’s really up to Sanchez. He played so poorly in the postseason that Boone benched him in favor of backup KyleHigashioka. Higgy had become Cole’s person catcher during the second half of the regular season because their ace preferred Higgy as his battery mate compared to the struggling Sanchez.
Boone indicated that Cole will not have a personal catcher in 2021.
“We’ll come in with the idea of Gary or Kyle will both work with all pitchers this spring in bullpens and into spring games.”
The Yankees are not ready to give up on Sanchez… yet. When Sanchez is locked in and he releases the Kraken (e.g. 34 home runs in 106 games in 2019), then the Yankees have one of the scariest lineups in the American League.
“He can be a game-changer at the plate when he’s right,” said Boone. “Hopefully, this is the year he puts it all together. We have a lot of confidence in that, but we’ve got to get it out of him, too.”
When Sanchez slumps, then the Kraken stays asleep like last season when he hit an atrocious .147 and slugged for .365. Higgy slashed at .250/.250/.521 last season as a backup catcher, but slashed at .309/.357/.538 in the postseason. With numbers like that, Boone inserted Higgy into the starting lineup over Sanchez.