2009 New York Yankees Team Preview - Betting Odds
by Badger of Predictem.com
The New York Yankees wanted to send old Yankee Stadium out with a bang in 2008 by hosting playoff and World Series games deep into
October, but injuries and a weak pitching staff doomed the Yankees to
a 89-73 record that wasnt even good enough to make the postseason as
the American League wildcard.
So stop me if youve heard this before.
Not content to spend another year watching the postseason, the New
York Yankees and the Steinbrenners retooled the budget, lineup and
the pitching staff all by buying up the top-three marquee players
available in free agency. If signing starters C.C. Sabathia, A.J.
Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira, to the tune of a cool $423.5
million combined, wasnt the equivalent of the Yankees thumbing their
nose with a big F.U., were the Yankees to the rest of baseball in
the offseason, then I dont what could be more close.
BET ON MLB GAMES AT REDUCED ODDS THIS SEASON AT 5DIMES
With a host of big-name players now gone (Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu,
Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano) the Yankees had about $80 million come
off the books before the spree, so its not as outrageous as it seems
on its face. But one thing is for certain, this Yankees team is
loaded with the top talent money CAN buy, so expect the roller-
coaster ride that is the Yankees in 2009 to be fun to watch, whether
its crash-n-burn or a title march.
2009 World Series Odds 2.8-to-1
2009 AL Pennant Odds 1.5-to-1
2009 AL East Division Odds -1.3-to-1
(All of the listed odds are those currently offered at Sportsbook.com)
On paper, its hard to find any team in baseball as deep with proven
major league talent than the Yankees. A stacked lineup, a new and
improved staff and the games steadiest closer are all reasons why
the prices (i.e. odds) for Yankees futures are almost even money.
Offense It takes all of two nanoseconds to figure out that Teixeira and his combined .308 batting average, 33 homeruns and 121 runs
batted in playing in both leagues last season will fit nicely between
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in the Yankees order. His defense at
first will also help the Yankees, but they were already 7th in
defense in 2008 (.986), so it wont be as important as his bat.
Johnny Damon (.303, 29 S, 17 HR, 71 RBI) is still one of the leagues
more productive leadoff hitters, but hes just one of the few injury-
prone and over-priced players the Yankees will be counting on to get
back to their previous All-Star caliber level in 2009. Catcher Jorge
Posada who only played in 51 games in 2008, second baseman Robinson
Cano who only hit .271 last season, and designated hitter Hideki
Matsui who only played in 93 games, all must prove they can withstand
the everyday grind and produce again.
The remaining two outfield and lineup spots will be filled by players
that win the open competition during Spring Training. Xavier Nady (12
HR, 40 RBI in 59 games as NYY in 08) and ex-As and White Sox
castoff Nick Swisher (just .219 in 08 with White Sox) will go head-
to-head for the right field job, while Melky Cabrera and youngster
Brett Gardner will via for the centerfield job.
Pitching The guy over in the corner with the perpetual grin, the
guy who cant stop giggling, oh thats Yankees pitching coach Dave
Eiland. He was just handed Sabathia and Burnett to top off his
rotation, so excuse him if hes a little giddy.
Adding Sabathia and Burnett to any major league rotation would
quickly make it one of the best in the league, but it gives the
Yankees starting depth that they havent seen in years.
Chien-Ming Wang (8-2, 4.07 ERA in 15 starts) drops down to the third
spot in the rotation, and if healthy, instantly becomes a great
matchup for the Yanks versus other teams No. 3 starter. Joba
Chamberlain (12 starts) and Andy Pettitte (14-14, 4.54 ERA in 33
starts) round out the rotation, and youngsters Phil Hughes and Ian
Kennedy will serve as emergency policies instead of back-of-the-
rotation starters like they were in 2008.
Bullpen Mariano Rivera continues to be one of the best closers in
the game, and last year was more of the same as he nailed down 39 of
his 40 save opportunities.
If theres one question on this Yankees team, one flaw, it would be
their set-up crew in the bullpen for the late innings. Righties Brian
Bruney (3-0, 1.83 ERA, 33 K in 34.1 IP) and Jonathan Albaladejo (13 K
in 13.2 IP) are both very young and unproven, and lefty Damaso Marte
(24 K in 18.1 IP) has only a handful more games of experience himself.
I fully expect the Yanks to fortify the ranks in the bullpen,
probably as rosters are trimmed just before the end of Spring
Training. Worse case scenario is the Yankees blow a few games trying
to get a lead to Rivera, and then they throw money at someone in a
trade during the season.
The Yankees are an extremely hard team to beat on, mainly because you
can count the number of times they are an underdog in a game on your
hands. Eating chalk to bet on the Yanks is a hard way to win money,
and their -572 money total for the season puts them in the red for
bettors. On the runline, the Yankees were a horrible -1324 (73-88),
and they stayed under the total more often then youd think with a
66-90 over/under record.
In 2008 Wang cashed in for bettors at a rate of 80 percent (12-3,
+781) pitching in the No. 1 spot in the rotation before his injury,
dropping to the No. 3 slot will make him more expensive to take him,
but he will have big numbers again in 09. Chamberlain was also good
starter money, as the Yanks won 8 of his 12 starts for a +234 tally
on the season.
As the oddsmakers No. 1 favorite, theres really no sense in taking a
future on the Yankees in 09. At 2.8-to-1 odds youd have to bet so
much to make it worth something, and thats too much investment on
that type of bet. Besides, what fun is picking the odds-on favorite?
Wheres the challenge in that?
That said, this team is loaded for a title in 2009. Save the money
youd bet on the Yanks to win the World Series future and bank it for
the season. With the ability (i.e. bankroll) to pay the steep prices
on the juice, you will win day-in and day-out with the Yankees in 09.