Barring something completely crazy, the New York Yankees are going to enter the 2023 MLB season one of the four betting favorites to win the World Series. The Houston Astros are the top choice at +500 at Caesars Sportsbook, but the Bronx Bombers are right there with them at +750, just ahead of the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, who are both currently at +800.
If you’re a Yankees fan and you want skin in the game, I’m not going to judge you for plunking down some cash on the Bombers to win the World Series at +750, the American League pennant at +350 or the AL East at +115, but those numbers feel a little short and don’t seem worth it to tie up your money for the next eight months. Plus, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll still be able to get similar numbers later in the year.
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Instead, let’s take a look at a couple of Yankee long-shot bets at Caesars that could provide a better sweat for punters over the 162-game season.
Luis Severino to win AL Cy Young (70/1)
It’s been a rough couple of seasons for Severino. The 28-year-old has been limited to just 26 appearances since 2019 and threw just 102 innings in 2022 thanks to a stint on the 60-day injured list.
And while Severino didn’t post dominant numbers in his 19 appearances last year, he was pretty effective with a 3.18 ERA, 2.94 xERA and 27.7 percent strikeout rate.
Those numbers will all need to improve for Severino to contend for the Cy Young, but it’s not like he hasn’t done it in the past. Severino posted a 5.6 WAR in 2017 and 5.4 WAR in 2018, which were the last two seasons he was fully healthy. Those numbers would, at the very least, put Severino in the Cy Young conversation.
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Unfortunately, 2018 was a long time ago and it’s been a while since we’ve seen that version of Severino, which is part of the reason he’s so far down the board.
As with any bet at this kind of number, it’s highly unlikely that Severino wins the 2023 Cy Young, but of all the pitchers in this range, the longtime Yankee has the most upside.
Plus, this is a contract year for the right-hander, so he needs a big performance just as much as the Yankees need one out of him.
Oswald Peraza to win AL Rookie of the Year (28/1)
A lot of hype and money is going to be focused on Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles in this market, but there are a couple of Yankees in the running. The only problem is they both play the same position.
And while Anthony Volpe seems to be getting more hype than Peraza in the Yankees’ wide-open competition at shortstop — which is why Volpe is 18/1 to win ROY — it’s Peraza who feels like a safer bet, even though he’s the bigger long shot.
Finding value in the Rookie of the Year market comes down to opportunity more than hype and there’s plenty for Peraza. He’ll be given every chance to take the starting gig from Isiah Kiner-Falefa in spring training, and even if Kiner-Falefa is the Opening Day shortstop, he’ll have a pretty short leash given his disappointing showing in 2022.