NEW YORK YANKEES
Owner: Hal Steinbrenner, worth $3.8 billion
World Series Titles: 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009
Greatest Player: OF Babe Ruth
Division: AL East
Payroll: 2nd, $272,000,000
2022 Result: 99-63, 1st place, lost to Astros in Championship Series, 4-0
General Manager: Brian Cashman
Manager: Aaron Boone, 50; Record: 427-281, 0 World Series Titles
Home Field: Yankee Stadium, Capacity: 46,537
Key Addition: SP Carlos Rodón. Rodón heads to the Yankees as arguably the best left-handed starter in baseball. He’s the second-best pitcher in baseball’s best rotation. Offering an electric fastball and a put-away slider to match, Rodón has been electric since persevering past health issues. If that continues to be the case, he’ll give New York valuable innings for Octobers to come.
Key Loss: RP Miguel Castro. Castro may have only pitched 29 innings for the Yankees last year, but his stuff is simply filthy. It’s more of an opportunity cost deficit, given that he was cheap ($3.5 million) and left a decent hole in the bullpen, which they’ll hope to fill with depth pieces like Deivi García and Ron Marinaccio. While still talented, this is not the murderer’s row of strikeout artists they boasted a few seasons ago.
Key Injury: SP Frankie Montas dealt with shoulder inflammation during the first act of his Yankees tenure, leading to a disappointing second-half. His durability has once again come into question as his shoulder will require surgery that may end his season. A long-term absence (and a concerning injury for his career prospects) means the Yankees' rotation is no longer the best in the bigs by any significant margin.
Prospect Alert: SS Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza answer the question of why Carlos Correa and Trea Turner aren’t wearing navy pinstripes. New York fans know it’s only a matter of time before the neophytes take over the infield. Peraza will likely get the first crack at shortstop as Volpe may be a few months away from Major League action. Volpe, however, is a certified top 10 prospect, so you’ll be hearing more about him anytime an incumbent middle infielder slumps.
Scouting Report: How long until an unfulfilled tradition becomes a relic of baseball’s past? The Yankees were synonymous with championship caliber play, and not much has changed. Their payroll remains a level above the peasants of the league’s Central Divisions, residing only below their Big Apple counterparts. They still have the all-world power hitters and expensive starters to match. Yet, the results have repeatedly fallen short in October. What gives?
Unfortunately for New York, they’ve run into an American League dynasty of their own: the Houston Astros. Competing with them, first and foremost, means matching their analytically-driven, ridiculously nasty pitching staff. Houston’s bullpen probably comes out on top, but the addition of Rodón, along with a (hopefully) healthy season from Luis Severino gives the Yankees arguably the best rotation in MLB.
Offensively, it’s hard to have a bad offense with Aaron Judge in the middle of it. Expect more of the same from Judge and fellow Martian Giancarlo Stanton. I like bringing back Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo, but the bottom of the lineup lacks potency. A huge X-factor in deciding their fates will be CF Harrison Bader, who flashed a hot bat in the postseason.
Anticipate the Yankees to win the regular season again. Have they done enough to unseat the Astros?
Over/Under Wins: 96, 1st place, lose to Blue Jays in ALDS
BetBasics Best Bet: New York had a disappointing year against the run line, posting a 76-95 record, good for 27th in baseball. To do so while winning as much as they did was impressive. They also disappointed their over bettors, as the under hit in 52.4% of contests. However, what should pop out to us is their American League-best margin of victory of 1.4 runs. They ended up 0.2 runs better than the run line (spread) per game, the only team in the top 13 to post a negative record against the run line.
The Yankees have a tendency to blow out teams more often than most. That’s par for the course when your lineup features as prolific power hitters as they do. Expect them to cover at a slightly higher rate than last year, given the market’s similar stance and the upgrades made to the pitching staff.
Their win total is sitting around 94.5 wins, and you can get -110 odds on that line at DraftKings. I think there’s slightly more value in betting on them to win the East with +105 odds. They’ll cover enough against the Baltimore Orioles, but it will be their performance against fellow contenders in Toronto and Tampa Bay that decide those futures’ fates.