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Article: Beating Vegas: The New York Yankees

new york yankees masahiro tanaka derek jeter
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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 11:26 AM

Giggle. Let's not fight it, OK? Let's embrace the schadenfreud.

For years, small market wallet watchers have been predicting the Yankees were due for a fall as the Bronx Bombers relied more and more on free agents, big contracts and an aging roster as revenue sharing limits gained more and more teeth. Last year, we finally got a taste of what that will be like, and it was delicious. Vegas noticed too, and have picked the best team money can buy to finish fourth in the AL East.

Ooh-ooh-ooh - and did I mention they also get to pay Alex Rodriguez $20M to strut around the locker room for the next three years?

I'll say it again: giggle.Year In Review
Like the fall of most empires, it wasn't a huge implosion, but a series of ever-widening cracks that led to deterioration. Vegas watched the Yankees offseason spending spree and set a number in the mid to high 80s to meet, but a lot of the big signings came up short. Biggest among them was (and continues to be) ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Tananka dominated to the tune of a 2.77 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning, but there were too few of those innings - just 136 - because he was limited to 20 starts with a sore elbow. Worse, he still has pain that he's just (effectively) pitching through. So there is no guarantee that he'll be healthy for the duration of this year.

Tanaka's status mirrored that of a lot of the team. The new slimmer CC Sabathia was limited to only eight starts, big free agent signee Carlos Beltran played in only 109 games, Mark Teixeira struggled with a wrist injury and of course A-Rod was suspended. The Yankees are counting on bounceback seasons from these guys, and if they stay healthy, the could get it, but here are their respective ages as of July 1: 34, 38, 35, 39. Their expected health is debatable.

Add that all up, and the Yankees still finished over .500 with 84 wins, which is an accomplishment given that they were outscored on the year.

With those results amid all their injuries, it may not be surprising that the Yankees had a pretty quiet offseason. They replaced free agent closer David Robertson by signing setup stud Andrew Miller, but other than that, the Yankees treated this offseason like a do-over. They let Hiroki Kuroda walk. He was their most durable and effective starting pitcher. The other two big departures are probably more about losing big names than impact players, but they're still losses: Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter.

Vegas Says
“There are enough Yankees bobos betting money in New York that the number has to be higher than they deserve, and maybe they'll get lucky and keep people healthy. Still, I'm lowering last year's 86.5 line.” = 81.5.

Beating Vegas
I try not to bet on the Yankees for the same reason I try not to bet on the Twins; wishful thinking gets in the way. But if I had to bet, I'd bet the under. Practically, their run differential is more like a 77 win team than the 84 wins they tallied last year, and there is a lot more room for downside than upside given the age of this team. And karmically, it feels a lot like a franchise that just lost its identity, is floating through purgatory and is a lot closer to hell than heaven. .

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#2 USAFChief


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Posted 22 March 2015 - 12:42 PM

FWIW, they are projected to have the third best team defense in baseball.

So perhaps we should take the over.


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#3 jimmer


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Posted 22 March 2015 - 12:48 PM

ZiPS, the best projector for 2014, projects the 2015 Yankees at 82-80.

Edited by jimmer, 22 March 2015 - 12:48 PM.

#4 HitInAPinch


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Posted 22 March 2015 - 01:33 PM

Thank Scott Boras for that :-)More teams started resigning their own free agents to big contracts because it seemed like they had no other choice if they wanted to stay competitive.So, with fewer options, the Yankees ended up going after aging free agents like Beltran and are finally suffering for the ridiculously long guaranteed they been giving away like candy on Halloween.A terrible thing to watch:-)

It's not my fault !

#5 Thrylos


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Posted 22 March 2015 - 01:52 PM

With the unbalanced schedules of these days, a team's record has a lot to do with its division's opponents'.I'd say that the Red Sox and Blue Jays improved, and Tampa and the Orioles stayed about the same (or they balance each other with Tampa slightly improving and the O's slightly declining,)so the Yankees who did not do that much other than age another year, got to decline.Vegas is generous in this case...

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