More people hate them than love them, and in sports, that is a compliment of the highest order since it generally means winning more than your perceived fair share of games and titles. But whether or not you hate a team, they can still be money makers for you with your sports picks.
The haters have been disappointed 17 of the past 18 seasons, especially in five of those years. But there is hope in 2013 for people who simply don't like the New York Yankees. "Not like" is definitely putting it mildly, but then the MLB odds still mildly favor the Yanks to reach the postseason, and we know how easy it is for a team in October to catch fire and go all the way.
New York is the fifth choice among American League teams on the MLB futures odds board at Bovada, coming in at 15/1 to win the World Series. That puts the Yankees on par with the defending champions from San Francisco, and projections here at SBR last week slotted New York just behind the Texas Rangers at 17/2 to claim the AL pennant.
Sixty-eight players were part of the 2012 roster in the Bronx, and they averaged just under 32 years of age. The Yankees didn't get any younger since being broomed out of the ALCS by the Detroit Tigers, and they'll be counting on at least three players who will each be at least 39 this season to come back from injuries.
Ah, but there's that intangible known as Yankees magic that plays into this team. Part of that sorcery, according to their detractors, could take the form in actual youthful talent since the rumor mills have been churning about New York kicking the tires on Washington Nationals OF Michael Morse.
The problem is Morse is also attractive to other clubs, and despite the Yankees needing another OF/DH type, they may not have the minor league talent to deal. Not to mention the Nats already have given up their next 1st-round pick as a result of signing New York's primary closer last year, Rafael Soriano. Oh, it is a tangled web we weave.
Jeter Expects To Be Ready Opening Day
Joe Girardi probably did his best job of managing this club a year ago. I'd put his effort in 2008 second on the list, oddly the only time since the ill-fated 1994 campaign that New York hasn't experienced the postseason.
He is going to need an even better/luckier (pick one or both) season in 2013 to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year. The everyday lineup is old enough on its own, and will require a cocktail blending every 30+ with good health along with a few career years and the previous rebounds from health concerns.
Alex Rodriguez, once he does return from another hip surgery, can only hope Derek Jeter is involved in some beastiality video that goes viral to keep everyone from immediately piling on him. I don't expect Jeter to hit .300 again and I don't expect him to fall flat on his ass. It will be interesting to see how Kevin Youkilis charms his way into the hearts of fans in the Bronx...and then how things work out when Rodriguez returns.
The real keys are on the right side of the infield, Mark Teixeira at first and Robinson Cano at second, and whether or not NY can deepen the outfield trio of Curtis Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner.
Mo & Pettitte, One More Time
A pair of 40-year-old arms that combined to throw a little more than 80 innings last year will be expected to deliver the goods this season. As much as I like Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, relying on both seems to be asking too much.
Rivera could deliver as the closer, and even with the loss of Rafael Soriano, the bullpen should be a capable group overall. The rotation is full of iffy propositions, however. CC Sabathia appears to be on target following minor elbow surgery, with Hiroki Kuroda slotted behind him. Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes are both enigmas, and there's really only David Phelps in reserve.
The offensive meltdown during the playoffs is hard to shake from memory, but we also can't forget the lineup produced 804 runs during the regular season, second-most in the majors. New York may need that many runs again to support the rotation and get back into the postseason and cash for those who are backing the Yankees with their baseball betting. Maybe this is one of those rare seasons the Yankees fall short.
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