Coming from a bitter pill to swallow in their wild-card loss last season, the Yankees and Brian Cashman have surprisingly made few moves. Is this the end of the Yankees dynasty? Check our MLB pick.
Can Tanaka Pitch Like An Ace?
I know that he won 26 consecutive game a few years ago, but that as the Japanese League. Masahiro Tanaka (12-7, 3.51 ERA) is the ace of this staff, but I think he was hyped up too much. At best, he's a #2 pitcher for a respective baseball squad, but he's the best that the Yankees have to offer with Lou Severino waiting in the background.
What bothers me about Tanaka is his tendency to allow big innings in the 1st inning, thus putting the Yankees “behind the 8-ball” and then eventually calms down.
In order for New York to enter and surpass 85.5 victories, Masahiro Tanaka will need to be an 18 win pitcher. At this point and with the Yankees bats lacking production, I don't know if he's capable of that, nor entering the team into the MLB picks for the season.
The Yankees would sign up for 17-18 wins from Masahiro Tanaka today. In my opinion, Masahiro is a “wild-card” because of his talent. He never had the Tommy John Surgery and the Yankees need his very best. 18 wins with a near 3.00 ERA or less could enable the Yankees to just squeeze past the 85.5 win mark, but that's a best case scenario.
I'm going to say this ahead of time being as I think this will be a very risky future bet. Bet light if you're going to bet on the Yankees win total.
1.If Mark Teixiera, who was on his way to a 40 plus home run ,125 RBI season last year stay's healthy, the Yankees could eclipse the 85.5 win mark. As we know, Tex has been injured on a regular basis. Question marks are a common theme with this team.
2. Can Alex Rodriguez, who will be 41 in July, pull off another fantastic season as he did in 2015? In my eyes, A-Rod proved a lot of people wrong and he came up huge wih some timely bombs. The MLB welcomed him back regardless if the Hall of Fame welcomes him.
3. Will Bret Gardner produce in the 2nd half of the season like he did in the first half of the season (he was an All-Star) as Gardy folded like a cheap tent the last couple of months.
4. Will Jacoby Ellsbury ever live up to the huge contract that he was provided with? I think that he was on his way to a productive season with his ability to make contact and his speed on the basepath, but an early season injury got in hisway and he was never the same.
5. Can Brian McCann hit for average? McCann did everything right last season where his power was concerned, but he also, saw a dramatic drop with his batting averaging, hitting his low at the end of the season. Look for McCann to have a big 2016 as his swing is taylor-made for Yankee Stadium. Last season, he simply ran out of gas.
Didi Gregorious and Greg Bird
One Yankee that really poured it on as time progressed was shortstop, Didi Gregorious. Gregorious finished up the season with 9 HR, 56 RBI, and a .265 BA. His fielding really started to improve and I don't think that the Yankees missed a washed up Derek Jeter at all.
As for Bird, he came into the perfect situation as Mark Teixiera was injured. I can see him playing some 1st base and DH this season. The Yankees can't have him sit the bench. They need his momentum to continue. Bird hit 11 HR, 31 RBI, and a .261 BA in just 157 at-bats in his rookie season. His season was a great success and expect more from Bird as players like A-Rod will need nights off.
I expect a big season out of Masahiro Tanaka and young upstart, Lou Severino (5-3, 2.89 BA). Severino was fantastic and we can see big things from him. Injuries and endurance are the two factors that will determine if the Yankees are a high 70's win team or a high 80's win team. Keep the bet light in the MLB odds boards and take the under.