2011 New York Yankees Predictions and MLB Futures Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 3/21/2011
Mark Teixiera would like you to believe that the 2011 New York Yankees are “underdogs”.
What he’s really trying to say is, “We’re really not that good.”
The Yankees are a monolith on the Major League scene. They have the highest payroll and (in related news) the most championships of any team in North American sports history. They are the most watched, most talked about, and most loved AND hated team in baseball. And it is actually at the point where it’s tough to do a betting preview for their season. If you don’t already know what is going on with the Yankees then you probably shouldn’t be betting.
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Here is Doc’s Sports 2011 New York Yankees Predictions and MLB Futures Odds:
2010 Record: 94-67
2011 Wins Over/Under: 91.0
Odds To Win 2011 AL East: 1.8/1
Odds To Win 2011 AL Pennant: 4/1
2011 Yankees Odds to Win the World Series: 6.5/1
Pitching: This is the source of all of the angst in Yankees Nation. Andy Pettitte and Javier Vasquez are gone and Cliff Lee gave the Yankees the finger. That leaves C.C. Sabathia who, in a situation that could be both good (contract year motivation) and bad (he could leave) for the Yankees, is in an opt-out year and could bail the Bronx after this season. After Sabathia is where the fun begins. A.J. Burnett is what he is: an average, 4.00 ERA strikeout pitcher that can lose his head. Phil Hughes is 26-11 over the last two years but has a career 4.20 ERA. He is a solid young arm but he is also a Verducci Effect candidate and he’s hardly an ace. After that it is a bunch of retreads and wannabes. And, basically, the whole season depends on Hughes not getting hurt and Burnett not being as wretched as he was last year. Those are two 50-50 propositions. The bullpen is still solid and the middle relief has several good options. But let’s be honest, any bullpen with The Hammer of God at the end of it is going to be fine.
Hitting: Any lineup with Teixiera, A-Rod and Robinson Cano anchoring the middle is going to score runs. Lots and lots of runs. The key for this team is going to be the consistency that it gets from the second tier. Nick Swisher had a career year for the Yankees in 2010, hitting .288 with 29 home runs and 80 RBI. His power numbers have been excellent in homer-happy New York, but the average increase was a nice sign. Curtis Granderson was somewhat of a bust in his first year with New York and Brett Gardner is still good-but-not-great, although he is one of the fastest players in the league. Have you noticed that we haven’t even mentioned Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada yet? That’s because the Yankees don’t need them to be their 2002 selves to have a lethal lineup. But if this team is going to stay on top in this division they do need that pair to remain clutch.
Player to Watch: Robinson Cano, 2B. Cano is by no means an unknown and isn’t some up-and-comer. He is, in fact, a star, and I have no problem saying that he is my favorite non-Mets player in the Majors. He can do it all and is exceptional in the field and at the plate. On a team full of hype and hyperbole this is one guy that is worth every word and always worth the price of admission.
Key Stat: 90.1 innings. That is the increase in workload for Phil Hughes between the 2009 and 2010 seasons. And that increase on Hughes’ young arm (he is only 24) makes him a candidate for the Verducci Effect this year. Over the last five years a majority of the pitchers to make that list either got hurt or saw a significant regression in their play within the next two years. The Yankees have to hope that this isn’t the case for Hughes this year.
2011 New York Yankees Predictions: The sky is not falling in the Bronx, despite the “woe is us” theme of New York’s off-season. That said, the Yankees are really at a crossroads. The core of the team that has won five championships over the last 15 years is not only past its prime but, as the Derek Jeter drama this winter demonstrated, now could be considered as an impediment to future success. Derek Jeter (36 years old), Mariano Rivera (41) and Jorge Posada (39) are singing swan songs and Alex Rodriguez (35) is getting up there as well. That said, this franchise has unlimited resources with which to address the holes they have as well as the ones that might open up during the season. The A.L. West is a muddled mess, and as competitive as the A.L. Central teams are with one another I don’t see two teams coming from that division. But barring collapse and/or a rash of injuries the Yankees should be playing again in October.
2011 New York Yankees MLB Season Win Totals Predictions: ‘Over’ 91.0. This is really one of the toughest numbers on the board. The only way to play the Yankees total is ‘under’. They have gone ‘under’ their Vegas win total in four of the last five years and the books have to pump up their number a bit because they understand that New York is going to take a lot of square money. However, this team has only failed to reach 91 wins one time in the last 10 years and just twice in the last 15. There has been some negativity around this team this winter, but then again there is always drama in the Bronx. And if New York really wanted to I’m sure it could go out and pluck a Felix Hernandez, Chad Billingsley and/or Fausto Carmona to shore up the rotation. This is a “stay away” line, and the Yankees really do have issues this year within a rapidly improving division. But until I actually see them fall below 90 wins (which I did predict in 2008 when they won 89 games) I won’t believe that it will happen.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. He is considered one of the top MLB cappers in the country and has turned a profit in four of the last five years on the diamond with his baseball picks. He closed 2010 with $6,000 in earnings over the last four months and is looking forward to a great upcoming season against the MLB odds. Click here for more information on his MLB picks.
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