The New York Yankees enter the 2020 season not just as heavy favorites to win the AL East, but also the frontrunners to take home the AL Pennant and World Series crown. It would be their first title since 2009 and would be a welcome start to the 2020s after they failed to win a title in the 2010s, only the second decade in team history that they failed to take home a world championship. It makes sense that the Yankees are favored in the AL, especially with all of the scandals circling around the Red Sox and Astros. C.C. Sabathia, who has now retired, had quite a bit to say about the scandals, considering the Red Sox and Astros represented the AL in the World Series the last three years. If the rest of the franchise is as passionate, then the Yankees’ redemption story could make them a solid play for a lot of futures bets this season. Let’s take a look at some Yankees’ futures and see which ones are worth betting on and which aren’t.
Win Total: 101.5
To me, this is a no brainer. Are the Yankees better this year than they were last year? Absolutely. They had 30 injuries last season, and yet still managed to win 103 games. Add to that, they went out and got Gerrit Cole this offseason and there is no part of this team that is worse than last season’s.
Winning over 100 games in an MLB season is never easy, but Aaron Boone and the Yankees showed what they could do last season with a beat-up roster. This season, their rotation is better and their lineup is healthy. Barring injuries, they should have no problem clearing this number. Even with injuries, they should be able to pull it off. Also, keep in mind that the Yankees will get 19 games against the lowly Orioles, who they beat 17 times last season.
AL East Winner: -360
The Yankees come into the season with the second-best odds of any team to win their respective division, behind only the Dodgers who are -1000. It would have been crazy for anyone other than the Yankees to be favored in the AL East, considering they won it last season with 103 wins and without Gerrit Cole. However, is there any value in taking this bet, even with the Orioles and Blue Jays expected to flounder, and the Red Sox sending Mookie Betts to the Dodgers? Not really. The reason is that the Rays could be pesky enough to hang around all season. If for some reason this is close at the end, and if the Yankees rack up injuries like they did last season, it could be scary with a few games left if you’re sitting on a ticket with a $360 bet to win $100.
Verdict: The Yankees will win the AL East, but it’s not worth it to bet this.
AL Winner: +165
The Yankees are favored to win the AL, but think about this. The Yankees just took Gerrit Cole from the Astros, watched Houston fire their manager, and guess who has the second-best odds to win the American League — the Houston Astros. While the Yankees currently sit at +165, the Astros are at +250, and then you’d have to go all the way down to the Twins at +900 to find the next best odds.
The Yankees are going to make the playoffs, and if they win the AL East (as just about everyone expects them to) then can anyone beat them in a series, especially a seven-game one? The Yankees boast Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, and Luis Severino. Plus, their fourth starter will likely be James Paxton when he comes back from injury. We haven’t even gotten into their lineup yet.
VERDICT: Good value for this team.
World Series Winner: +350
The Yankees are slight favorites to win the World Series, just ahead of the Dodgers at +400, who just acquired Mookie Betts and David Price from the Red Sox. This could finally be the year that we get the long-awaited Yankees versus Dodgers World Series, and if that happens then it truly is anyone’s series. The Dodgers have consistently been around and had it not been for an absolute collapse last season against the eventual champion Nationals, they could have likely taken home the crown.
The NL is weaker than the AL and there aren’t many teams to challenge the Dodgers, so it’s likely that to get to the World Series, the Dodgers won’t have to work as hard as the Yankees. If one starter goes down for the Yankees then who knows what would happen. These are decent odds for New York, but it’s probably a better idea to hammer the AL Winner and wait to bet on the World Series when it comes.
Verdict: A decent play, but a lot can go wrong in an MLB season.