New York Yankees 2021 Season Preview
After negotiations between players and owners, the MLB is set to play a 162 schedule starting on time at the end of March. The Yankees find themselves as one of the World Series favorites coming into the season, but will they live up to the hype? This New York Yankees 2021 preview will answer that question.
Since 1996, the Yankees’ opening day record is 12-13. However, after a six-month season, opening day represents much less than one percent of a team’s record. In fact, despite their mediocre opening day history, the Yankees have not ended the season with a losing record since 1992.
On the other end of the schedule, the Yankees have had four consecutive playoff appearances, including two ALCS losses to the Houston Astros.
The Yankees hired Aaron Boone as their manager after the 2017 season. Since then, Aaron Boone has had at least 100 wins in every full season. The Yankees show no sign of slowing down. From a roster perspective, the Yankees have improved this offseason acquiring players like Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon. They also retained almost everyone from last season including DJ LeMahieu.
Potential New York Yankees Opening Day Lineup
- DJ LeMahieu (2B – R)
- Aaron Judge (RF – R)
- Aaron Hicks (CF – S)
- Giancarlo Stanton (DH – R)
- Luke Voit (1B – R)
- Gleyber Torres (SS – R)
- Clint Frazier (LF – R)
- Gio Urshela (3B – R)
- Gary Sanchez (C – R)
The bench: Kyle Higashioka (C – R), Tyler Wade (IF – L), Mike Tauchman (OF – L), Brett Gardner (OF – L)
Starting Pitcher Rotation:
- Gerrit Cole (RHP)
- Corey Kluber (RHP)
- Jameson Taillon (RHP)
- Jordan Montgomery (LHP)
- Deivi Garcia (RHP)
The bullpen: Zack Britton (LHP), Luis Cessa (LHP), Chad Green (RHP), Jonathan Loaisiga (RHP), Darren O’Day (RHP), Justin Wilson (LHP), Albert Abreu (RHP), Aroldis Chapman (LHP)
Alternative Fantasy Baseball – New York Yankees 2021 Preview – OVER 96 WINS
This New York Yankees 2021 Preview looks into each part of the Yankees 2021 team.
There is no doubt that the Yankees’ lineup can score, but the Yankees’ main downfall in recent years has been the pitching. Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, attempted to solve this problem by acquiring Corey Kluber, Darren O’Day, Jameson Taillon, and Justin Wilson.
The biggest risk for the Yankees’ rotation is Kluber and Taillon. Kluber pitched just one inning in 2020 and just 35.2 in 2019. The Yankees are relying on Kluber to return to his 2018 form when he went 20-7. Additionally, Jameson Taillon did not play at all in 2020 and pitched just 37.1 innings in 2019. The Yankees have lower expectations for Taillon, but would still like Taillon to finish the season with a winning record.
Back on the offense, the Yankees have not changed since last season. The key move was re-signing DJ LeMahieu. His new contract is six years long and gives him $90 million. He has led the Yankees in WAR since he arrived in New York in 2019.
Luke Voit, the 30-year-old first baseman, is set to make $4.7 million in 2021. He had the most home runs in the MLB in 2020 with 22 in 234 plate appearances. That set a new career-high, which was previously 21 homers in 2019 in 510 plate appearances. If his plate appearances per home runs from 2020 continued through 2021 Voit would have 65 home runs.
The weakest link in the Yankees’ lineup is Gary Sanchez. Sanchez has batted below .233 each season since 2018. Ken Davidoff described the way the Yankees handled Sanchez on the Substantiate podcast. Davidoff said, “It was almost daily check-ins with the manager [and] with the other players. Like what is going on with Gary? Was today a good day for Gary? Was today a setback for Gary?”
Aaron Boone may alternate between Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka this season to keep both players fresh and at their best. The best-case for Sanchez is if his batting average is over .240 and he hits over 20 homers. The worst-case for him is if he bats below .200, hits less than 15 homers, and plays less than 90 games.
The biggest weakness of the Yankees’ lineup is injuries. Aaron Judge played just 28 games in 2020, 102 in 2019, and 112 in 2018. Also, Giancarlo Stanton played just 41 games in 2019 and 2020.
Eric Cressey, the Yankees’ director of player health and performance, decided to change Judge and Stanton’s offseason workouts. Cressey said, “In both cases, they’ve lifted less than they have in the past. Aaron in particular has really taken a heavy interest in a lot of Yoga. We have to be mindful of the stresses on guys who are 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8, big dudes who are standing around for long periods of time in cleats. Those are things that normal people don’t encounter.”
A Yankees 2021 Preview would be incomplete without looking at the Yankees’ division. The American League East division is not very strong coming into 2021. The Rays have lost starting pitcher Blake Snell. The Red Sox have declined each year since their World Series Championship in 2018.
The Baltimore Orioles are 5-24 against the Yankees in 2019 and 2020. The Toronto Blue Jays seem to be the Yankees’ biggest contenders in the AL East, but they are extremely young with little experience. The Blue Jays also open the year, unable to play their home games in Toronto due to Canada’s COVID-19 policies.
Over the last four years, the Yankees have had different variations of the same team. Now, they have the experience and knowledge to make it deep in the playoffs. This is why I believe the Yankees will win OVER 96 games in the regular season.
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- Review a list of all MLB teams and their OVER / UNDER WIN Total Odds
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- Rank your picks in order of confidence from 10 Through 1
- Play in leagues of 8-12 MLB fans
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