- The New York Yankees remain in the World Series conversation despite dealing with significant injuries
- The Yankees have lost a Major League high 471 games to injury already this season
- How good can this team be if fully healthy?
The New York Yankees are dropping like flies. They’ve lost an MLB high 471 games to injury already this season and will now be without ace Luis Severino until at least mid-July.
Brian Cashman just confirmed that Luis Severino will not be back before the all-star break
— David Mendelsohn (@BigBabyDavid_) May 5, 2019
You’d think a rash of injuries this severe would cripple any Major League franchise, but the Yankees continue to win ball games and their average World Series odds have barely moved.
2019 World Series Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+500|
|New York Yankees||+500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1100|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1100|
|Boston Red Sox||+1500|
*Odds taken on 05/07/19
They remain a top championship contender thanks to major production from some unheralded names, most notably Luke Voit.
Voit Is an Emerging Star
With sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton stuck on the DL, Voit has emerged as New York’s savior. He has a team high 29 RBI and is among the Yankee leaders in home runs, OBP, slugging, and WAR.
Luke Voit is a threat every time he comes to the plate.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 6, 2019
He’s hit more home runs than any other first baseman in baseball and is having a better statistical season than perennial All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, despite earning roughly 25 times less than him.
Since Luke Voit joined the #Yankees, players with a higher wOBA than him:
end of list
— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) April 28, 2019
He began the season by reaching base in 31 consecutive games and he’s a major reason why the Yankees have a +40 run differential, despite so many injuries.
New York’s Pitching is Unsustainable
As good as Voit has been, the collection of pitchers filling in for Severino (and now James Paxton) have been nearly as impressive. New York has allowed the fourth fewest runs in the American League and are producing almost three times as many strikeouts as walks.
— New York Sports Nation (@SportsNationNYC) May 1, 2019
However, a closer look at the numbers suggest this level of performance is unsustainable. Yankees pitchers currently have a strand rate well above average and a BABIP well below average. They are getting uncharacteristic production from pitchers like Domingo German, whose home run to fly ball rate is more than three times lower than his career average, and whose BABIP is 96 points lower than a season ago.
Yankees pitchers currently have a strand rate well above average and a BABIP well below average.
Negative regression is likely coming, but it might not matter if New York can get healthy soon, and stop relying on second tier options.
The Yankees’ Odds Don’t Offer Value
Fortunately for the Yankees, most of the injuries to their star players are considered minor, with the exception of Severino. The fact that they’ve been able to stay competitive throughout is actually bad for their World Series odds, because it’s prevented them from dipping to the point where they can be considered a value.
+500 is too short to buy at the moment because even when they return to full health they should still be a much bigger underdog to more complete teams like the Astros and Dodgers.