The New York Yankees have often been accused of being one of those franchises that buys its way to success. That reputation isn’t necessarily unwarranted.
But what the Bronx Bombers have managed to do this season despite extended absences of both their biggest trade acquisition in recent memory and their top home-grown slugger has bettors on notice. There’s been a recent uptick in several Yankees-based wagers at FanDuel Sportsbook as the team prepares to get back some key reinforcements.
News of Judge/Stanton returns making an impact
The Yanks sit atop the American League East with a record of 44-27 going into the games on Tuesday, June 18. What they’ve overcome to get there is relatively remarkable.
Giancarlo Stanton, who came over from the Marlins prior to last season, has played all of three 2019 games due to a shoulder injury. He’s reportedly set to return as early as Tuesday.
Then, Aaron Judge, one of New York’s premier home-grown talents, is looking at a possible return later in the week after being out since April 20 with an oblique injury.
Lest it be forgotten, the Yankees saw another star product of their farm system in Miguel Andujar go down with injury this past April. The AL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2018 had season-ending shoulder surgery on May 20 after logging just 49 plate appearances.
Bettors are buoyed by both the imminent Judge/Stanton returns and the notion of how much better the Yanks could be with the pair of big bashers back in action. Tellingly, Yankees wagers constituted 44 percent of the bets placed last week on FD Sportsbook in terms of World Series winner futures.
That represents a shift upward according to Kevin Hennessy, FD’s Direct of Publicity. The Yankees are +650 to win the World Series at both FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook. The Yanks’ American League pennant odds also rose during the last week-plus, going from +310 on June 7 to +285, where they stand currently.
Arrival of another big bat also moves needle
Incidentally, the Yankees’ actual odds of winning a World Series also got an additional boost over the weekend from the Big Apple arrival of another prolific slugger.
Edwin Encarnacion — who it could be argued was destined to be in pinstripes at some point in his prodigious career given the team’s decorated history of home-run hitters — arrived from the Mariners on Saturday.
He’s set for a team debut Monday night and lays claim to the most homers in the majors since 2012. The Yankees’ odds of a 2019 title went from +750 to +650 on FD over the weekend in what at least partially appears to be a response to the move.
Another surge in Yankees betting interest could be on horizon
The expectation the trio of aforementioned bangers could all be in the lineup together by weeks’ end provides reason for optimism. However, the Yankees’ ability to thrive during the injury absences of Judge and Stanton in the first place deserves equal mention.
Particularly noteworthy is that three of the key pieces that made that possible – Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier– once toiled (and in Frazier’s case, continue to toil, much to his dismay) for multiple seasons in New York’s farm system.
Despite the recent upward trend, the fact the pitching staff still has plenty of questions is likely still capping the Yanks’ odds to an extent.
Domingo German, who owns an impressive 9-2 record but is currently sidelined with a hip injury, remains on the shelf for the foreseeable future. And Luis Severino, who’s notched 33 wins for the Yanks over the last two seasons, is still to make his 2019 debut due to a lat injury. However, he’s reportedly making steady progress and could contribute significantly after the All-Star break.
If all of the team’s injured pieces plus Encarnacion deliver on their respective potential, expect operators to have a busy summer booking plenty of Yankees bets.