The entire American League East is in shambles at this current moment. The Red Sox just traded their MVP in Mookie Betts for pennies on the dollar. The Orioles are, well, they’re the Orioles. The Blue Jays rotation behind Hyun-Jin Ryu features Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson and Shun Yamaguchi. 

The Tampa Bay Rays may be the only team in the division with a slight edge on the Yankees. If the MLB decided not to let fans in for games amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rays will have home-field advantage in every park they go to. 

Ya know, considering they haven’t had any fans at their games in a decade.

Speaking of COVID19, it could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Bronx Bombers. The only thing standing between the Yankees and the AL East title is injuries. Not much has changed since 2019, where a combined 30 players missed a total of almost 3,000 days, or the amount of time it takes to watch The Irishmen. 

Right now, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks and Zach Britton could all potentially miss Opening Day. James Paxton is due back sometime in May. So if the MLB season gets suspended (something that didn’t happen to any Astros player), it gives the Yankees the luxury of growing healthier as the days go on. 

What carried New York in 2019 amidst those injuries is the fact that they scored more than Pauly D did on Jersey Shore. They were top-4 in runs, home runs, average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. 

All those numbers could potentially get better if Stanton can come back and stay healthy, Judge continues to do Judge-ian things, and let’s not forget that Miguel Andujar is returning to the lineup after missing almost all of 2019.

Dangerous Duo

Name a better duo than the Yankees and handing out outrageous free-agent contracts, I’ll wait. After finishing middle of the pack in pitching last season, the Yankees gave Gerrit Cole $324 million. 

Cole had one of the most dominant seasons a pitcher has ever had in 2019. He finished with a record of 20-5 with an ERA of 2.50. He also had more strikeouts than just about everyone in 2019 with 326 — the only person with more was myself at my local bar every Friday night. 

Now, I said the Yankees winning the East is the easiest money, not the most. They’re such heavy favorites (1/5) that betting $100 will only win you $20 based on VegasInsider.com’s odds. But hey, if you think you’ll need gas money in 6-7 months, this is a slam dunk.

The more interesting prop bet, for me, is the over/under on win totals. The Yankees win total is the only one in baseball that is over 100 games, at 101.5. While the 100-win mark was a rare occurrence from 2009-2015, over the last three years, it’s become more common than Karen asking for a manager. 

Since 2017, 10 teams have won 100 games, including the Yankees the last two years. Given the fact that the next closest team in the ALE is Tampa at 90.5, parlaying the under of 101.5 with them winning the division seems like a great idea. 

Like the great Randy Moss said, “Straight cash, Homie.”