New York Yankees Fall Back to Earth
It’s been a while since the New York Yankees could be considered a value bet.
This used to be the No. 1 public team, not just in Major League Baseball, but across the pro sports universe. Then something strange happened: The Yankees went on a youth kick. They were sellers at the 2016 trade deadline, dumping OF Carlos Beltran and closer Aroldis Chapman, among others. 3B Alex Rodriguez tendered his resignation in August; 1B Mark Teixeira would follow A-Rod out the door. So would thousands of Yankees fans.
Despite New York’s late-season success in 2016, the most decorated team in baseball history went into the 2017 campaign as +2500 outsiders on the World Series futures market. You won’t find them at that price anymore.
The Yankees were scorching hot to start the regular season, and they’re still battling for first place in the American League East at 38-29, good for 5.06 betting units in profit. But after losing six straight, are the Bombers still worth a bet at +1000 to win the World Series?
Worm Burners in the Big Apple
It’s pretty close. If you look at New York’s “peripheral” stats, you’ll see they’ve enjoyed at least some good fortune thus far. The Yankees still lead the majors in hitting at 16.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), but they’re also second overall with a .322 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), up from .289 last year. Some of that difference is from younger, fresher legs turning ground balls into singles, but if the analytics movement is correct, it’s mostly dumb luck.
New York’s pitching staff has some warts on it, too. They’re sixth in the big leagues at 9.6 WAR, thanks in part to a stingy .283 BABIP. Last year, the Yankees were in the middle of the pack at .292 BABIP.
Only two teams (the Reds and White Sox) have been more fortunate on balls in play this season. Combine those two halves of the roster, and it’s easy enough to tag the Yankees as a “fade” candidate instead of a “follow.”
Then again, consider the longer-term trajectory for this team. The Yankees are young, they’re still improving, and they’ve had to weather the absence of OF Jacoby Ellsbury (.771 OPS) because of post-concussion symptoms.
Now, OF Aaron Hicks (.968 OPS), one of New York’s nascent superstars, is dealing with an Achilles issue that may or may not put a damper on his production level. This six-game losing skid may have been inevitable, but a return to health could put the Yankees back on the winning track – and make them buyers instead of sellers at next month’s trade deadline.
Are you looking for a reputable site to bet on baseball? Check out our reviews, written by fellow sports bettors. Don’t get scammed, get informed.