It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen this, but the New York Yankees are in rebuilding mode.
Since the early 90s, the Bronx Bombers have been the envy of baseball with all the money and all the success. After making the postseason in 17 of 18 seasons, including three straight World Series titles and seven World Series appearances, the team finally fell off the wagon in 2013 and have just one playoff games—the 2015 Wild Card game—since. The 2017 season looks to be another year without the playoffs, but it’s not a forgone conclusion as New York remains one of few teams that have a chance to compete—at least for a Wild Card spot—while rebuilding at the same time. Heck, they did it for much of 2016 even after trading away a pair of ace relievers.
2016 Record: 84-78
2016 Moneyline Record: +3.54 Units
2016 Over/Under Total Record: 72-80-10
Current World Series Odds: +2976
Current Odds To Win AL: +1382
Current Odds To Win AL East: +450
Regular Season Win Total: 82.5
The Yankees flipped Aroldis Chapman at the trade deadline for their top prospect, Gleyber Torres, but have brought the All-Star closer back to help Dellin Betances solidify the back end again.
New York’s bullpen should allow the Yankees to win the games they’re supposed to win, the ones that they have a lead in late and that should help them maximize their win total and stay relevant for much of the year.
The problem, however, is the starting rotation. Assuming, Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow continues to survive in its continuous state of limbo given the partial tear that was reported a couple years back, he’s a true ace at the top. After him, however, is a true mystery. Last year was a tale of two seasons for C.C. Sabathia who looked to have redefined himself in the first half, but fall off the table in the middle of the year. In addition, Michael Pineda remains little more than a huge question mark with talent.
The Yankees’ bullpen should close the door when the starters give them the lead, but just how frequently will that happen? Given the question two through five in the rotation, much of that comes down to the offense. Two years ago, the Yankees scored the second most runs in all of baseball; last year they were ranked No. 12 in the American League.
Many of the team’s veterans were to blame for the fall off in offense and a number of those including A-Rod and Mark Teixeira are gone. Some of the other vets are still in New York. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Chase Headley all put up subpar seasons at the dish last year. To be able to overcome the lackluster starting pitching, the team is looking for them to play closer to the numbers on the back of their baseball cards while also hoping the young guns to provide an additional spark.
Gary Sanchez, of course, did just that in his audition last year. He slammed 20 homers in 229 plate appearances while hitting. 299 with a .376 OBP in the process. To expect Sanchez to continue that pace is ridiculous, but the team does still need him to produce middle-of-the-year numbers.
In addition, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird will be asked to play key roles after the first bombed in his debut last year and the second missed the season with injury.
To help stabilize this offense, the Yankees did bring in professional hitter Matt Holliday to serve as the primary designated hitter. A long-time National League guy, Holliday will have to adjust to not playing the field which could be an issue.
April 2-5: at Rays
April 7-9: at Orioles
April 10-13: vs. Rays
April 14-16: vs. Cardinals
April 17-19: vs. White Sox
April 21-23: at Pirates
April 25-27: at Red Sox
April 28-30: vs. Orioles
It’s typical for a team to face off against divisional opponents in the first and final months of a season, but the Yankees have an interesting few series in the middle against the Cardinals, White Sox and Pirates. Still, they do play their first three series against divisional foes, including two against the Rays who many expect they’ll be battling with for fourth place, though the odds makers remain a bit higher on the Yankees than that.
Still, the matchup with Tampa Bay is an interesting one with both teams featuring some young talent as each are looking to rebuild, albeit in completely different ways.
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The 2017 Major League Baseball season is tentatively set to begin on April 2, 2017, and feature three games, including the 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals, which will be ESPN's first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year.
The 88th MLB All-Star Game will be hosted by the Miami Marlins and will be played at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017. It will be televised nationally on Fox.
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