The New York Yankees are one of those teams that will likely always be in World Series conversations. For much of the season, they have been one of the favorites to win it. They have certainly looked like they could. They currently have the best record (according to percentage points) in the AL and the second-best in baseball.
But in light of their inability to find help for the starting rotation, it may be time to start thinking about getting against the Yankees rather than on them.
It is not that they didn’t try to add anyone. According to GM Brian Cashman, they were in contact with almost every team in the league. They just couldn’t strike a deal with anyone.
“We didn’t get close to anything,” Cashman told reporters in the hours after the deadline had passed (ESPN). “But we certainly knocked on all doors and had a lot of ideas and exchange of ideas with clubs in our effort to improve.”
Cashman went on to explain how teams were wanting more than what he was willing to give for the player being offered.
“Maybe my counterparts felt my offers were underwhelming, and certainly, I felt their offers were overwhelming. We just never matched up.”
Not overpaying is generally considered a wise move. But while the Yankees do have a very good roster, one that is capable of competing during the postseason, it can’t win. Yes, the offense is tremendous (fourth in BA at .269; second in runs scored at 612; third in home runs with 178), but just like every other sport offense doesn’t win championships.
In baseball, the key to postseason glory is pitching—and the Yankees do not have a very good pitching staff.
Since the All-Star break, the Yankees have accumulated a 5.60 ERA (starters ERA has been 7.65 since the break) and have allowed batters to hit .282. They tied with the lowly Baltimore Orioles for most home runs allowed in July with 37.
The lowest ERA among their starting rotation is 4.08; their highest—5.19. As for their bullpen, it is not bad. Heading into August, the Yankees bullpen has the sixth-lowest ERA in baseball at 3.89.
Between the bullpen and the offense, and despite their starting rotation, they are still one of the better teams in baseball.
“You fall back and look at the roster you have and feel like, ‘This is a damn good roster,’ and we can compete with anybody in the game,” Cashman said, via ESPN.
So, on an individual game basis, it is not necessarily time to start betting against them. When it comes to the division, Boston and Tampa Bay didn’t really make any significant moves either. Unless one of them catches fire down the stretch, the current lead the Yankees have may be enough to secure the division.
But if you really want to bet against the Yankees here, take the Red Sox at +2000 at 888sport.com. They are a longshot but are more likely to overtake the Yankees than the Rays.
However, when it comes to winning the AL, absolutely bet against the Yankees; or for the team that is going to win it, the Houston Astros. By acquiring Zack Greinke before the trade deadline Wednesday, the Astros have become very difficult for anyone to beat four times in seven games. It just isn’t going to happen with a rotation that will include Greinke, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Wade Miley.
Without hesitation, take the Astros to win the AL at +125 (at 888sport).