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Yankees’ Win Total Still 101.5 After Severino Injury News; World Series Odds Unchanged

Players standing for anthem at Yankee Stadium
Luis Severino's injury raises big questions about the lack of depth in the Yankees starting rotation. Photo by Tech. US Air Force Sgt. Jeremy M. Call.
  • Luis Severino’s season-ending injury hasn’t affected the New York Yankees’ MLB futures
  • New York’s win total remains at an AL-high 101.5, and they’re still tied for the shortest World Series odds
  • There is now serious concerns about their starting pitching depth. Should bettors shy away from their futures?

The New York Yankees were dealt a major blow Tuesday when they learned Luis Severino needs Tommy John surgery and will be lost for the season. Before you start feeling sorry for the Bronx Bombers consider the following: the Yankees are so loaded that the loss of Severino, a former top Cy Young award contender, didn’t affect their MLB futures at all.

New York Yankees 2020 Futures Odds

Win Total World Series Odds AL Pennant Odds AL East Odds
101.5 (-110o/-110u) +350 +150 -500

Odds taken on Feb. 25th.

New York’s 2020 MLB win total remains at an AL-high 101.5, while their World Series odds are still tied for the shortest on the board with the LA Dodgers at +350. They’re a big favorite to win the AL East and the AL pennant, but should bettors be concerned with the lack of depth in their starting rotation?

Surviving the Severino Injury

The Yankees made a big splash this past offseason signing prized free agent starter Gerrit Cole to a $324 million contract. After Cole, the next two rotation spots are locked up by Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ, but then things start to get interesting.

Jordan Montgomery, who started 29 games in 2017, has the inside track to be New York’s fourth starter, while Deivi Garcia, Jonathan Loaisiga, Clarke Schmidt and Michael King are all battling for the final rotation spot.

The Yankees are in this bind not only because of the Severino injury, but also due to the absence of James Paxton and Domingo German. Paxton is out until at least May following back surgery, while German still has 63 games remaining on his suspension for domestic violence.

Prior to the start of spring training, and all the subsequent Yankees injury news, FanGraphs rated New York’s rotation as the best in the league. A big reason for that was an MLB-high 6.8 WAR projection for Gerrit Cole. The Yankees will surely miss Severino and Paxton, but the fact remains that few teams feature an ace with a ceiling as high as Cole’s and New York proved last year they can dominate without elite pitching production every night.

No Pitching, No Problem

The Yankees won 103 games last season, the most they won all decade, despite posting a 4.51 rotation ERA. They fell just two wins short of a World Series berth, despite not having a starter anywhere near the calibre of Cole and getting just four starts out of Severino.

That’s because their offense was elite and their bullpen was among the best in MLB. New York led all of baseball in runs scored, ranked second in home runs and third in slugging, OPS and total bases. Their run differential was 91 runs higher than anyone else in their division, and their relievers ranked top-5 in the AL in nearly every major statistical category.

The majority of the key players from both groups are back for 2020 and there’s no reason to expect they can’t replicate last year’s performance.

No Reason to Shy Away

The Severino injury hurts, but don’t forget the Yankees have been winning without much production from him for some time. Over his final 63 innings in 2018, Severino posted a 5.57 ERA. Last year, he was limited to just 20 innings in the regular season and playoffs combined, and accounted for only one victory.

Paxton will back in May and German will return in the first week of June. All of a sudden a Cole, Tanaka, Happ, Paxton and German starting rotation looks pretty imposing. Combine that with arguably the best offense in baseball and the Yankees are in business.

If you liked any of their MLB futures before the Severino news don’t let his injury deter you. New York is still the best team in the American League and a very deserving division and pennant favorite.

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