Betting on Yankees Has Been A Bust, But Is There Value?
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The New York Yankees have vacuumed stacks of money in MLB betting before and during the 2021 season. The Bombers were betting favorites to win the AL East and the AL pennant, and were among the best bets to win the 2021 World Series at the top sportsbooks.
They have continued to siphon away cash during the season. After 65 games, the Yankees are 33-32 overall. But they have the second-worst record in baseball against the spread (26-38-1) and are covering in just 40% of their games.
Things have not gone as predicted or hoped – depending on your perspective – in the Bronx this season for those who follow MLB odds. The Yankees are carrying a massive payroll that continues to underperform, especially when it comes to hitting. The anemic Yankees have only outscored Detroit in the American League thus far after 65 games.
And it’s not just a lack of power and run production from those with gargantuan contracts like Giancarlo Stanton and D.J. LeMahieu. It’s the little things too. The Yankees lead the majors by grounding into 64 double plays.
Baserunning has emerged as another surprising area of concern. The Yankees have been thrown out on the basepaths 31 times this season, by far the worse in the American League. Even more terrifying for those who might have jumped on the Yankees to win that elusive 28th title, they have an unheard-of-in-the-Bronx minus-7 run differential.
When plays begins Tuesday night against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, the Yankees will be 8½ games out of first. This week, they will be playing for third place against Toronto to just get in position to leap over the Red Sox to get to the Rays.
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Yankees Likely To Fall Short Of Win Total
The over/under betting on Yankees victories this year was 95.5 before the season. The over on that wager is approaching the improbable, if not impossible, to achieve in 2021. The Yankees will have to win 63 of their final 97 games to hit their projected win total. That’s a .650 winning percentage for the rest of the season.
Don’t expect the Yankees to deplete their farm system, or what’s left of it, to pick either a big-name reliable bat or pitching arm at the trade deadline. The Yankees’ competitive balance payroll is $207.81 million, just $2.19 million beneath the tax threshold.
No one is ever going to confuse Hal Steinbrenner with his dad, George, who likely would have fired Aaron Boone and demanded a roster overhaul by this point in the season, no matter the price.
One play is to consider simply taking the Yankees’ opponents against the spread each night at various sports betting sites. That has hit 60% of the time this season and the Yankees continue to absorb dollars each night, because they are the Yankees.
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Is There Value Worth Risking With The Yankees?
There is some value emerging for those wanting to bet on the Yankees. Even with an expanded playoff format, the Yankees would be sent off to the golf course if the season ended today. The team is tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the eighth-best record in the American League. But only the top seven teams – three divisional champs and four wild-cards – will get into the postseason.
You can find the Yankees at +400 to win the AL East with FOX Bet, if you’re so inclined. This is the best value play left for MLB bettors who want to try and wring some dollars out of baseball’s most overpriced lineup.
The best hope to revive the moribund Yankees lineup lies in MLB enforcing its rules against pitchers using illegal, sticky substances. That decision, and accusations of past use, have ensnared Yankees pitchers Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber.
He is a substantial favorite over both Shane Bieber of the Indians, who won the award in 2020 and is available at +600 with PointsBet, and Tyler Glasnow of the Rays at +650 with PointsBet. Cole carries the most intriguing storyline of anyone wearing a Pinstripe uniform given the focus he’s received on the eve of MLB's decision to enforce its long-dormant illegal sticky-substance ban.
That attention will spread across the majors when umpires begin enforcing MLB’s new directive on Monday.
Therein lies your opening in the Bronx.