The last time we were together, I talked about the potential for a “Miracle Mets” replay given the positive recent form of one of my hometown teams. I thought it would make sense to devote a day to the New York Yankees, who I also grew up watching very closely in my hometown of Mt. Vernon, NY.
The Yanks are in trouble! You only have to look at this week’s pitching rotation to see that:
Monday: Shane Greene (two career starts at age 25)
Tuesday: Chase Whitley (11 career starts at age 25, with a 5.10 ERA)
Wednesday: David Phelps (proven mediocrity better suited to long relief)
Thursday: Brandon McCarthy (career ERA of 4.18, with a 46-60 record)
Friday: Hiroki Kuroda (39-year old trending in the wrong direction)
It’s kind of a miracle that the Yankees are even in a pennant race. They’re only three games behind first place Baltimore in what’s been a surprisingly weak AL East race. Entering Monday’s action, the Yanks are only 1.5 games out of the second Wildcard spot, currently held by Seattle. If they can acquire some pitching…they could be playing in October!
That said, if they acquire some pitching, they’d still be way behind Oakland, the LA Angels, and Detroit in terms of true quality (unless they were swiping pitchers from those teams!). I don’t expect the Yankees to be a big story over the next couple of months. I’ll re-think that if they do make a blockbuster roster move (or two, or three).
Generally speaking, I’ll be looking to fade the likes of Greene, Whitley, and Phelps for sure. The market still slightly overprices the big-market Yankees out of habit (though it’s not as bad as it used to be). I’ll only consider McCarthy or Kuroda at fair prices if their opponents have a lot of “go-against” tendencies in play.
What about the offense?The Yankees are currently #10 in the AL in batting average The Yankees are currently #11 in the AL in on-base percentage The Yankees are currently #11 I the AL in slugging percentage
Hitting isn’t a strength! And, we all know that this park is ripe for the taking by home run hitters, particularly left-handed hitters or righties who can go the opposite way with power. Somehow management has built a team that can’t take advantage of what this park has to offer.
All told, we’re looking at a bottom third offense with a very weak starting rotation. No reasons for optimism based on talent. What about intangibles?
I have been in touch with my sources back East to see if there’s potential for any sort of “us against the world” mentality taking over the team. That can be pure gold when you find it. But…in this sport…it’s usually more profitable when a smaller-market team starts thinking big. Sense that for a team like Minnesota or Miami, and you’ll be getting value prices over an extended period. If the Yankees get hot, ESPN will jump all over it right away and Vegas prices will move immediately. My sources aren’t exactly bristling with confidence that this edition of the Bronx Bombers have that “special something” anyway.
There are a lot of interesting storylines about to play out in baseball. I’ll discuss a few of those in the coming weeks through the pennant races. But, the very best information I have to keep for myself and my paying clients! I don’t mind guiding readers in the right direction with general themes. Specific gold mine teams and pitchers (particular relative unknowns) have to be kept under wraps so we can exploit the edge for as long as possible.
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