MLB Futures Update: Let’s Address The Yankees And Astros

By Sidelines   June 20, 2022 

MLB Futures Update: Let’s Address The Yankees And Astros

All year, we’ve sat back and watched as two of the American League’s more consistent contenders–the New York Yankees and Houston Astros–have piled up the wins and have the biggest division leads in baseball as we approach the start of summer.

As the Yankees finished up a 5-1 run through their two top contenders in the AL East, their World Series futures odds are creeping up and are nearly even with the Dodgers at some books. 

Right behind New York is Houston, who–along with the New York Mets–are the four teams with odds that are below +1000 at this point in the season.

But of the two dominant teams in the American League, we believe the stock is higher on one over the other. For this week’s MLB futures stock watch update, we’re taking deep dives into both the Yankees and Astros and delivering our verdict on each.

Stock Up: New York Yankees

Odds to win 2022 World Series: +500 (Bet MGM)

To show how dominant the Yankees have been, even playing in a difficult division that currently has four teams over the .500 mark, they would be six games ahead of the crosstown Mets, who enter this week at 44-24 and the best record in the National League.

The Yankees are 49-17, 8.5 games better than the Dodgers, who are +375 to win the World Series at Bet MGM. The only reason that has to be the case is because of recent October performances.

New York, despite all of their advantages and success, has not reached the World Series since 2009. They’ve been to the American League Championship Series several times since then but have been unable to solve the Astros. 

But while the “Bronx Bombers” are living up to their name by being first in the American League with 340 runs scored, they have also allowed the fewest runs in MLB with 197. For the first time in probably a decade, the Yankees’ pitchers are living up to their potential and also remaining healthy. 

New York’s five starting pitchers have started all but two games this year, and the highest ERA in the bunch is Gerrit Cole’s 3.33 mark. Cole, however, leads the team in strikeouts with 91 in 73 innings pitched. 

In fact, looking at the key pitching statistics across the majors, the Yankees are represented across the board. Jameson Taillon is tied for the MLB lead in wins with eight, Nestor Cortes ranks fourth in ERA with 1.94, Cole’s 91 Ks are fifth in baseball.

The Yankees have had some injuries in the bullpen, namely to closer Aroldis Chapman, but Clay Holmes has more than made up for the loss, recording 11 games and posting a 0.28 ERA. 

Offensively, Aaron Judge leads the majors with 25 home runs, which puts him on pace for 60–a number that’s been unheard of the past 15 years or so. New York leads the league with 110 home runs. Their only weakness, if you can call it that, is ranking 10th in batting average, but that’s not a bad place to be if they are towards the top of the league in every other category.

One more statistic to chew on: we mentioned how the AL East is strong, and the Yankees are still holding their own by going 24-11 against the division. Against the rest of MLB, they are 25-6. New York is playing well against tough competition and are even more dominant against the rest of the league.

If anything is going to give you pause on the Yankees, it’s that they could take an injury or two to the starting rotation, but that’s a viable concern for any team. That shouldn’t stop you from backing the Yankees come October, and with New York showing no signs of slowing down, their odds might creep even lower than +500, so now is the time to capitalize. 

Stock Down: Houston Astros

Odds to Win 2022 World Series: +700

The Astros are in their usual spot atop the AL West standings at 41-25, and with the recent fall of the Los Angeles Angels, have opened up a 9.5 game lead over the Halos. Texas has shown some improvement but is still 10 games back, and Seattle has regressed from where they were a year ago with a 29-39 record. Oakland, a thorn in the Astros’ side in recent years, currently has the worst record in baseball after selling off their stars this past offseason.

A look at the division standings will reflect this, as Houston is 21-12 against their AL West counterparts. They’ve also had success against the AL Central, going 13-3. Against the powerful AL East, however? The record is just 3-6. Houston is also 4-4 in interleague play with a series against the Mets coming up this week. 

Looking at the Astros’ stats, they are largely good but not great. Offensively, they rely too much on the long ball. Houston ranks fourth in MLB with 87 home runs but are just 20th in baseball with 281 runs scored. Their .238 team batting average ranks 18th. Yordan Alvarez is having a tremendous year with 18 home runs and a .311 average, but aside from him, Jose Altuve, and Kyle Tucker, the offense struggles at times–Alex Bregman is hitting just .218, Yuli Gurriel is at .222, and of course, the team parted ways with shortstop Carlos Correa after last season. 

We want to be clear though, Houston is no slouch, and their strength is in pitching. The team’s ERA and strikeout totals rank in the top five in MLB. Justin Verlander has been rocked a couple of times, but overall, he’s been great since his return from Tommy John surgery to lead the team with a 2.30 ERA and 81 strikeouts. The back end of the rotation, unlike the Yankees, has a been a bit shaky though. Jose Urquidi’s ERA is pushing 5.00, and Jake Odorizzi has been out for much of the season with a leg injury. Ryan Pressly, Rafael Montero, and Ryne Stanek have been solid in the bullpen as well.

Houston also knows how to win in October, as they have played in three World Series in the past five years and reached Game 7 of the ALCS in 2020. Their ability to come through in October is likely why their odds are lower than they should be, but the Yankees, Dodgers, and Mets seem like they would each be favored in a seven-game series.

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