MLB
July 21, 2020
BY Jason Michael Sanin

The 10 Best New York Yankees Bets in 2020

While the 2020 Major League Baseball season might be shorter than usual, with a 60-game schedule to look forward to, the expectations placed upon the New York Yankees have not diminished whatsoever.

Having competed for the American League title regularly in recent years, the Yanks are the best team in the MLB. With all of the attention that comes with being the Yankees comes several interesting betting opportunities, including these 10 wagers from DraftKings Sportsbook that might be too good to pass up.

Yankees to win the World Series: +400

Last year’s Yankees squad absolutely bludgeoned their opponents, winning 103 games in the regular season by scoring a total of 943 runs. But the issue with the Yankees was the pitching staff and their inability to match up with the best arms in the American League, which cost them a shot at the World Series. This year, their offense might be just as strong, with the added element of having the best pitcher in baseball on their side.

This offseason, the Yankees added Gerrit Cole, who played a key role in beating the Yankees in the playoffs last season as a member of the Houston Astros. The addition of Cole works for the Yankees in two ways, as it should strengthen their rotation while also weakening that of their biggest competition in the American League.

At 4/1 odds to win the title, backing one of the best rosters in the sport doesn’t come at a terrible price either.

Yankees to win the American League: +175

If you are not quite confident enough to back the Yankees to win the World Series this year, investing in them to win the American League might be the better wager. While there are some strong teams remaining in the American League — including the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros — the Yankees appear to be slightly better than their competition in what should be a two or three-team race for the pennant.

Working in the Yankees’ favor with this wager is the fact that the Houston Astros could be poised to fall back this season after their elaborate, trash-can banging cheating scandal was brought to light in the offseason.

With the prospect of having fans in the stands this year looking dicey, the Astros likely won’t be able to get away with anything similar this year. The effects of that change remain to be seen, but Houston’s behavior being stamped out certainly can’t hurt the Yankees' chances to win the AL this year.

Over 37.5 wins: -104

In order to get to the 38 or more wins required to hit the over on win totals, the Yankees would have to go 38-22 or better during the regular season. Helping them there is the fact that they will be playing a good chunk of their games this season against an American League East division that is struggling relative to recent seasons.

The Yankees are bigger than -300 favorites to win the division, which implies that they should be able to roll through their division games and get a big head start on racking up 38 wins.

To make things even better for the Yankees this season, there is uncertainty surrounding where the Toronto Blue Jays will play their home games this season. Their AL East foe was not granted permission to play in Canada this year, with possible alternatives including Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Taking away the home-field advantage from a division opponent should lend itself to an even better performance than originally anticipated for the Yankees.

More regular-season wins than the Dodgers: -105

The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are widely considered to be the two teams that are expected to meet in the World Series. But if a bettor does not want to back either one to get to the Fall Classic, this head-to-head season win total market is a decent alternative. The Yankees should come out ahead in it thanks to the overall consistency of the National League West compared to the Yankees’ American League East.

There are some subpar teams in the NL West, including the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies. And without Buster Posey this season, the San Francisco Giants shouldn’t be world-beaters either. But the American League East has two of the worst teams in the sport, in the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore will be especially bad once again this season, and the Yankees should get enough easy division wins to avoid faltering in this head to head.

Gerrit Cole to win the AL Cy Young: +275

Last season, Cole was as good as a pitcher could be in the American League. He won 20 games and finished the season with a 2.50 ERA while propelling the Houston Astros to a World Series appearance. This year, he joins a Yankees team that should be able to provide him even more run support than what the Astros did, which will give him opportunities to pick up even more victories and potentially grab a Cy Young.

The only question for Cole will be how he handles pitching in New York. While not having fans at Yankee Stadium would help him considerably against a fan base that is known to let their boos fly freely, the pressure of the New York media has been known to cause even the best pitchers to crumble at times. If Cole can avoid that, he could very well win some individual hardware this season.

Aaron Judge to win AL MVP: +800

Last season, Aaron Judge battled injuries and poor form en route to a season that did not live up to his standards. This year, though, he is behind only Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels on the list of favorites to win the American League MVP award. With Trout being a heavy favorite to bring home the trophy, there is still some value in Judge to claim his first MVP award in what has been a brilliant career to this point.

Judge has looked locked in during spring (and summer) training this season, blasting several home runs during the prep period this July. If he can stay locked in at the plate and avoid chasing bad pitches, he should certainly improve his numbers from last year, albeit over a smaller sample of games.

Giancarlo Stanton to lead the league in home runs: +1100

The 2019 season was full of injuries for Giancarlo Stanton, as the much hyped acquisition for the Yankees was only able to muster three home runs before being shelved for much of the campaign. This year, injuries do not appear to be a concern and the Yankees appear willing to make a tactical adjustment with Stanton to make sure that he is on the field and hitting the home runs fans are used to seeing.

Reports have stated that the Yankees plan on keeping Stanton in the designated hitter role, at least to start the season, as they look to protect him from going back on the Injured List as much as possible. If they are successful in keeping him healthy, his position in a loaded Yankees lineup should afford him plenty of pitches to hit and the chance to lead the majors in home runs through 60 games.

Aaron Judge to lead the league in home runs +2000

If you're eyeing for some longer odds, Aaron Judge at 20/1 odds could certainly be worth a look. As mentioned before, Judge has looked incredible at the plate since the exhibition season resumed in July.

Judge hit multiple home runs during a brief series against the Mets and followed that up with another against the Phillies. While his health is always a concern, Judge’s explosive nature at the plate makes him a decent value at 20/1 to hit the most dingers.

Stanton to hit over 20 home runs: +300

A 20-homer season over the course of 60 games is a lot to ask, but Giancarlo Stanton certainly looks capable of delivering if he stays on the field. For bettors who are looking to get involved with a Stanton home run wager, but do not wish to bet on him to lead the league in round-trippers, this market could be worth getting in on at 3/1 odds.

Stanton, in his first year with the Yankees, clubbed 38 home runs in 2018 before last year’s injury nightmare of a season. That pace would put him short of the 20 home run mark, but a year of recovery combined with a better familiarity of home and away ballparks in the American League make this a more than attainable milestone.

DJ LeMahieu to lead the league in hits: +1500

While the race to rack up the most hits in baseball is far from a glamorous one, DJ LeMahieu could bring in big money for those who back him in this market in 2020.

LeMahieu finished third in the majors in hits in 2019, with his 197 hits putting him behind only Rafael Devers and Whit Merrifield atop the hit charts. This season, LeMahieu is unlikely to slow down against a favorable schedule and as a part of a lineup where teams can’t afford to be careful with him.

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