Yankees and Mets Give NY Baseball Fans Reason For Optimism

EmpireStakes.com

By Mark Strotman

For the first time in a handful of years, there’s excitement in The Bronx and Queens for the start of the 2021 MLB season.

An aggressive offseason from the New York Mets saw them acquire Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians, sign catcher James McCann and add reliever Trevor May. The Yankees, never quiet in the offseason, re-upped second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, signed two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and traded for starter Jameison Taillon.

The result of those offseason additions? The Yankees (+550) and Mets (+1000) entered the 2021 season with top-5 World Series online sports betting odds for the first time in a long time. Expectations couldn’t be higher in both boroughs for two teams in win-now mode. Of course, elite teams mean elite talent, and we’ll be tracking those players’ chase for individual awards throughout the season. Here’s where they stand with the season just underway.

Top MVP Contenders For Mets and Yankees

A calf injury limited Aaron Judge to just 26 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, yet he still posted nine homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS near .900. If Judge can stay healthy — a big if considering the injuries he has had since his 2017 AL Rookie of the Year campaign — he’ll be in consideration for MVP. His +1200 odds slot him second behind the annual favorite Mike Trout (+225), but if voters are looking for a reason not to vote Trout, a 50-homer season from The Judge could be reason to do so.

Francisco Lindor only finished in the top-5 of MVP voting once in the AL with Cleveland, but the Mets are betting on him being a perennial contender — more specifically, a $341 million bet. The four-time All-Star shortstop struggled in 2020 but will be part of a Mets lineup that includes Pete Alonso, James McCann, Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith. Lindor could post massive numbers at Citi Field and his Gold Glove defense won’t hurt his case. He has +1200 odds to win National League MVP, not all that far behind favorite Mookie Betts (+750).

Who Are The Top Cy Young Contenders?

Jacob deGrom was the runaway Cy Young winner in the National League in 2018 and 2019, and there was a real argument for him three-peating in 2020 — he finished third. No longer the reigning champion, deGrom enters the 2021 season as good as ever with a chance to join Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer as the only pitchers to win the award three times. The Mets ace is a considerable favorite at +380 with DraftKings for a reason, as there’s no reason to believe the 32-year-old will slow down anytime soon.

Gerrit Cole is an equally large favorite at +350 to win the Cy Young in his second season in pinstripes. In Year 1 with the Yankees in 2020, Cole went 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts and struck out 94 batters. It was a dominant season for Cole, but perhaps not up to the expectations set out for him when he signed a nine-year, $324 million deal in December 2019. Still, Cole is a healthy 30-year-old with the best fastball in the game and a stellar supporting cast. He’ll be in contention for his first Cy Young all season.

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EmpireStakes.com
Mark Strotman
Mark Strotman is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports. He covered the NBA Playoffs in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as Team USA Basketball in 2014 and 2016. He has also covered high school football and was nominated for a Midwest Emmy in 2016 for his work on a documentary featuring local Chicago product and NFL prospect Miles Boykin.
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Mark Strotman is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports. He covered the NBA Playoffs in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as Team USA Basketball in 2014 and 2016. He has also covered high school football and was nominated for a Midwest Emmy in 2016 for his work on a documentary featuring local Chicago product and NFL prospect Miles Boykin.
... Read More