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Yankees Still Heavily Favored In Odds to Win AL East Despite Recent Slump

Yankees DH Gary Sanchez hits a two-run homer in the first inning.
Yankees DH Gary Sanchez has been a big part of the Yankees offence this season. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III. Flickr. [CC License].
  • The balanced Yankees have the fourth-best OPS (.781), team ERA (4.01), and run differential (+69) in the AL
  • New York has a half a game lead on the Rays in the AL East
  • Should New York be the odds-on favorite to win the division in 2019?

The Yankees have lost 7 of their last 10 though and now hold a slim half-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays.

But Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge should return next week and that should help them battle for the division crown.

2019 American League East Pennant Odds

Team Odds
New York Yankees -200
Tampa Bay Rays +250
Boston Red Sox +550
Toronto Blue Jays +100000
Baltimore Orioles +250000

*Odds taken 06/14/19

Are the Yankees, who maintain the highest Divisional odds to win the AL East, still a good bet, given that they’re likely to get healthier as time goes by? Are the Rays being undervalued right now?

Pitching Remains a Challenge for the Yankees

James Paxton was a key acquisition for the Yankees as he was plucked from the Mariners to help bolster the starting rotation. Along with Luis Severino, J.A. Happ, CC Sabathia, and right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, this is a good starting five. New York is fourth in team ERA at 4.01, with the Rays first at 2.98.

Domingo German has been superb for the Bronx Bombers until he went on the injured list last week. German, 26, has pitched to a 3.86 ERA/116 ERA+ and a 4.05 K/BB ratio in 70 innings this season to go with a 9-2 record.

The Yankees didn’t win the Dalls Keuchel or Craig Kimbral sweepstakes, as Keuchel went to the Braves and Kimbral to the Cubs and that hurt them as well.

The Yankees bullpen includes Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Aroldis Chapman. This is a strong bullpen but will it be enough? The Yankees pitching faltered last year against the Red Sox in the ALDS. Kimbral would have helped them a lot.

Offense Always a Strong Point for Yankees

Even without Stanton and Judge, the Yankees have had some good home run numbers from hitters such as Gary Sanchez with 20, Luke Voit has 16 and Gleyber Torres with 14.

They are fourth in home runs with 107 total (the Twins lead the AL with 132), and are fourth in OPS at .781 (Minnesota leads at .858 team OPS).

If the rumors to move Edwin Encarnacion out of Seattle are true, he would add more power to this lineup. He has 21 home runs already this season. The Yankees already benefited from the Paxton trade with Seattle but the question would be what the Mariners would want in return for Encarnacion.

The Best Bet

With +250 and +550 odds respectively for the Rays and Red Sox, New York still looks good at -200 to win the AL East. The Red Sox clearly aren’t the same team as they were in 2018 and the Rays likely aren’t getting the love they deserve. Pick the Yankees to win.

Pick: Yankees (-200)

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