Can the Yankees miss the playoffs?
When you have a payroll of $241 million, you should never miss the playoffs.
Apparently bettors agree with this sentiment. The New York Yankees, who have the third-highest payroll in Major League Baseball, have a -400 chance of making the playoffs at BetMGM, an implied 80% chance of making the playoffs. The Yankees are +300 away from missing the playoffs.
The Yankees are among the leaders in all betting categories at BetMGM. Their win total is a solid 91.5. They are tied for the fifth-lowest odds to win a World Series at +1100. It’s the Yankees. They are going to be good.
Then again, if the Yankees aren’t as good as their payroll or superstar talent says they are, there’s a nice profit to be made this season.
Will the Yankees miss the playoffs?
Let’s focus on the +300 to miss the playoffs, because New York won’t just make the playoffs.
The Yankees barely made it last season. The Yankees didn’t earn a wildcard spot until Aaron Judge kicked off in the regular season finale. They barely held off the Toronto Blue Jays. Then the Yankees lost the wild card game to the Boston Red Sox.
The biggest potential problem for the Yankees is that they play in a stacked division. The Baltimore Orioles stink, but the other AL East teams are all capable of making the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays are still good, the Blue Jays are loaded and ready to make a playoff run, and the Red Sox have rebounded in a big way since 2020. That’s a lot of games against really good competition. It’s not crazy to think that New York could finish fourth in its division.
If the Yankees don’t win the AL East, they also have to worry about a team from another division with a much easier schedule having a great season out of nowhere and stealing a wildcard spot, like the Twins. Minnesota, Los Angeles Angels or Seattle Mariners.
Basically, there’s enough work against the Yankees to believe they’re not locked in the playoffs. That means the odds of +300 aren’t that bad.
The Yankees have questions about the roster
It’s also possible that the Yankees roster is a bit overrated.
Josh Donaldson, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are all great hitters, but they also all have incredibly long injury histories. The bottom half of the drive is good but not great if Joey Gallo hits too hard or Gleyber Torres doesn’t feast on the Orioles. The rotation is Gerrit Cole and more than a few questions.
The Yankees are not bad. Most teams would kill for their roster or their pitching team. But for a team that’s -400 to qualify for the playoffs, there’s plenty of reason to believe they’ll be just short. They didn’t have the type of offseason you would expect. They didn’t go land a Freddie Freeman or Max Scherzer in free agency. It was pretty quiet. And remember, their margin of error to make the playoffs last year was very slim.
If nothing else, getting 3 to 1 odds on the Yankees to miss the playoffs seems like the way to go.