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Expect More Growing Pains for the Youthful Yankees This Year

The New York Yankees are a team that never stays down for too long. One of the most illustrious franchises in pro sports, the Yanks weren’t able to meet their lofty standards in 2016 due to an 84-78 record – fourth in the American League East. Don’t get it twisted, though; this is a team that’s moving in the right direction.

A few years ago New York general manager Brian Cashman realized his squad wasn’t in a position to succeed with too many over-the-hill veterans and not enough promising prospects. Cashman decided to ship out some of the vets for draft picks and already-established talented younger players. The youth movement has been a success, and the Bronx Bombers are set to let their young studs fully grow in the Big Apple.

Players like Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier are the new wave of Yankees that will hopefully don the pinstripes for a long time. Don’t expect this group to be contending for a World Series title in the meantime, but they should be relatively competitive in the perennially tough AL East.

From a betting perspective, what can you expect from the Yankees this season? Here’s an analysis of New York’s futures odds for 2017:

World Series +2500

The Yanks boast the 12th-best odds to win the Fall Classic, firmly entrenching them in the group of second-tier contenders. They are ahead of teams like Texas, Seattle, Baltimore and Kansas City, though, so oddsmakers at Bovada are expecting them to make things somewhat interesting.

It would take some big cojones to place a preseason wager on the up-and-coming Yankees to go all the way, but there are worse bets you can make in baseball.

American League Pennant +1200

I’m a little surprised the Yankees are this high on the list, to be honest with you. While their +1200 price is decent value, they’ll be in tough to knock off heavyweights like Boston, Cleveland, Houston and Toronto in front of them. If this team struggles to get things off the ground in the early going (something that’s not uncommon for young rosters), you’ll be able to back them at a better price.

AL East +550

The AL East always seems to be a crapshoot, and certain trends have popped up time and time again over the years. Every time the Red Sox reload (like they did in the offseason), sportsbooks tend to overreact and peg them as the undisputed division favorites, but there’s certainly value in picking another club to garner the bragging rights. Unless you’re thinking of betting Tampa Bay, that is. Don’t be a dummy.

OVER/UNDER win total 82.5

This is an interesting number for many reasons. If the Yankees’ youthful core comes together earlier than expected, they’ll raise eyebrows across the league. If it isn’t a fluid transition, they could sink to the bottom of the standings quickly. I think this year’s Yanks are better than last season, and with Aroldis Chapman back to close out games, they’ll do a better job of winning the close ones. Take the OVER.

Masahiro Tanaka to win AL Cy Young Award +1400

It’s a bit risky, but Tanaka is an absolute workhorse who’s proven he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball since coming over from Japan. Tanaka came within one out of being the only Yankees starter to reach the 200-inning plateau last season, and his numbers (14-4, 3.07 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) make him an attractive pick to win the Cy Young at the +1400 price.

Hurlers like Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish will get more attention, however I’m confident Tanaka will throw his hat into the ring this year.

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