The Yankees and Rockies were supposed to be average this Regular Season, with the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks all perceived to be better than them. So why are both teams playing so well this Spring? Find out here.
At this point in the MLB Regular Season (May 11), the world champion Cubs (17-17), AL champion Indians (18-15), Red Sox (18-16), Blue Jays (14-21, -14.1 Units) and Giants (12-24)—all Playoff teams in 2016—are a combined 79-93 (.459). On the other hand, Yankees (21-11), Orioles (22-11), Nationals (22-12), Diamondbacks (20-16) and Rockies (23-13) are a combined 110-63 (.636), dissolving many narratives we’ve had about who will be good and who will make the Postseason in 2017. These numbers are making the opening Futures Book odds seem silly. And particularly surprising so far has been the success of New York and Colorado, led by Rookie phenoms Aaron Judge (.308, 13 HRs, 28 RBI) and Antonio Senzatela (5-1).
But can the Baby Bronx Bombers (+8.8 units, #4 MLB) and the Blake Street Bombers (+12.2 units, #1 MLB) continue their wonderful Spring starts and keep winning their backers money at the betting windows? What might the Summer bring for these two young slugging teams? And can they potentially win the AL East and NL West despite the deep talent calling those divisions home? Let’s chop it up.
Yankees: Both Pitching, Hitting Have Surprised at The House That Ruth Built
The Yankees opened at +2500 odds to win the World Series and can currently be found as high as +1800 at BetOnline, which may end up being a bargain if the Bronx Bombers (12-4 Home) continue to play as well and hit as well as they have to date. With Starlin Castro (.351/6/21), Aaron Hicks (.333), veteran Matt Holliday (.286/6/19), Jacoby Ellsbury (.280/4/12) and the aforementioned 6-7, 282-pound Paul Bunyan-esque Judge, New York ranks 2nd in Runs (182), OBP (.356) and 4th in BA (.271). Masahiro Tanaka (5-1) and the Yankees Pitching Staff has been even more of a pleasant surprise, ranking 2nd in opponent’s BA (.229), 3rd in WHIP (1.20) and 4th in ERA (3.56) with only Quality Starts (17, T-10th) potentially being a red flag for the Yankees and Manager Joe Girardi.
NL West: Los Doyers, Los Gigantes, Los Diamondbacks Best Beware of Los Rocosos
Manager Bud Black and the upstart Rockies opened at +6000 MLB odds last Spring to win the 2017 World Series, and former pitcher Black has helped sooth a Colorado staff forced to pitch half of its games at 5,280 feet of Altitude, where baseballs sometimes float and fly like butterflies in that extremely thin Rocky Mountain air. Making an early case for NL Rookie of the Year has been RHP Antonio Senzatela (2.86 ERA, 1.05 WHIP), who the Rox have gone 6-1 in his L7 Starts and who has gone at least 5 IP in 7 straight after a 10-4 win over the champion Cubs in Denver in his last outing May 9 where the 6-1, 180-pound Venezuelan allowed 2 ER on 5 Hits in 6.0 IP.
Like the Yankees, the Rockies are a nice blend of Young and Old, but Colorado will need a little bit better Pitching overall to go with the expected Hitting from this oft-underappreciated lineup although the Staff’s numbers are respectable for Coors. Colorado ranks 10th in opponent’s BA (.243) and WHIP (1.27), are tied for 15th in Quality Starts (15) and are 17th in ERA (4.26) after a win from Jeff Hoffman in G1.