The sports books in Vegas don’t technically predict baseball outcomes as much as they predict what people, on balance, are going to predict. And based on where they’ve set the betting lines for the Yankees, they’re predicting that lots of people are going to adopt the Yankees Doom outlook.
Sports books who have weighed in thus far are setting the over/under on wins for the Bombers at 86 1/2, which is the lowest since Jeter hit the scene in the mid-90s. What’s more:
The Yankees head into spring training with 14-1 odds of winning this year’s World Series tied for eighth among the league’s 30 teams at the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book … The Yankees hadn’t been lower than third favorites to win the World Series in the past five years, according to Las Vegas- based handicapping information website Pregame.com.
The lowest non-strike season win total the Yankees have had since 1992 was 87 back in 2000. Of course, they won the World Series that year.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.