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Are the Yankees the Best Value to Win the World Series?

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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When it comes to the American League pennant (+800), or even the World Series (+1700), you’re not going to find a better value play in the futures market than the New York Yankees. With a great position in the playoff race and incredible depth, the Yankees offer you a chance to get in at a great price before some big name players get back from injury.

With solid quality-of-contact numbers and an imposing group of arms, there is a lot to like here about the Yankees.. Allow me to run through what makes them so appealing.

Offense

Let’s start here, since the meat of the Yankees’ trade deadline involved retooling its lineup in a fun way. New York has now climbed to the top of the league in hard-hit rate, with 42% of its batted balls traveling 95 mph or more off the bat. The addition of Joey Gallo, one of the great barrel men in the league, has helped solidify this standing, but the acquisition of Anthony Rizzo has brought contact to the Yankees.

Rizzo’s high 81.9% contact rate is a welcomed sight to a team that’s seen a dip in production from D.J. LeMahieu, has put Gio Urshela on the shelf and that got significantly worse in this department by adding Rougned Odor earlier this year. We already know the Yankees to be a great team at getting on base, with the top walk rate in the league, but situational hitting was one of the biggest weaknesses for this offense. They’ve fixed that instantly by trading for an experienced bat like Rizzo.

Furthermore, this team can still get much better on offense. As mentioned above, the Yankees have been winning since the break in spite of LeMahieu’s disappearance, and currently have Gary Sanchez, Urshela and Gleyber Torres on the injured list. A team that is seventh in On-Base Percentage with this kind quality contact prowess shouldn’t be down for long, and adding contact with Rizzo seems to be getting the ball rolling.

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Pitching

If the offense has help on the way, then this team’s pitching really has help on the way. As of this writing, Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Luis Severino and Corey Kluber are all missing from the rotation, yet the team continues to get good starts from guys like Luis Gil, Nestor Cortes and offseason signing Jameson Taillon. The former three names are getting set to return soon, while the latter two shouldn’t be far behind them coming off long-term injuries. That means some of the effective arms listed above will be added to an already-surprising bullpen, and it gives the Yankees an awful lot of options to pick from as they carve out their rotation.

Getting to the postseason will obviously be a tough task, but should New York get there, it could potentially run out a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Luis Severino, which wouldn’t be the best in the American League, but it could come close. That’s exciting, as is this bullpen, which has posted a 3.57 FIP since the break. Clay Holmes is looking like a great addition, and either Cortes or Gil will help this unit out in a huge way with some serious strikeout upside.

Not a lot of ground to make up

I’ve waxed poetic about the Yankees’ prowess in both phases of the game, now I will lay out why this bet makes sense, and why this team is indeed the value play.

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First off, New York won’t have to go through the Dodgers and Brewers to get to the World Series, making its road just a bit easier. Houston is the only team that could put a legitimate scare into you, and the other two division leaders have had their struggles over the last two months.

That leads me to the AL East. The Red Sox (+1500) and Rays (+1200) still stand more likely to win the World Series at PointsBet, but the Yankees have just six games to make up, with plenty of cracks left at the Rays. While they’ve had their issues at The Trop, the Yankees still have a stable full of lefties to throw at the Rays, which has been their Krypronite in 2021.

The Yankees can get the division, but even without it enter Thursday just two games back of the Red Sox for the final wild card spot. With a torrid pace to open the second half, there’s a good chance this is your last chance to get on board before New York moves into playoff position, at which point it might be tough to find value. I’d recommend getting in now, with reinforcements coming soon.

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