When the New York Yankees managed to pull off a trade with their former shortstop-turned Miami Marlins owner for Giancarlo Stanton the baseball-loving free world was in awe. How could Jeter let such a draw go so easily? Why didn’t he hold out for more? Was collusion involved?
Yankees Fans Are Getting Exactly What Was Advertised With Giancarlo Stanton
Anyone not associated with or fans of the Yankees questioned the deal. But fans of the Yankees were ecstatic. They were getting the reigning home run champ; a guy who has never hit fewer than 22 home runs in a season! The year he did hit 22 he only played in 100 games!
The odds-makers felt the excitement as well. With Stanton inserted into the Yankees already potent lineup, they deemed the Yankees as one of the World Series favorites for the 2018 season. Following the trade, many had their odds as 11:2, the same as the Houston Astros and just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (5:1).
A few games into the season, their odds are still on par with the Astros but are now a shade better than the Dodgers (13:2). According to online betting site Bet Way, the Yankees and Astros have 6:1 odds to win the World Series this year (as of 4/6).
After all, they got within a game of it last season without Stanton. With him, surely, they are going to pick up the slack— right?
To be fair, before the trade they already had pretty good odds, 8:1, while the Astros, Dodgers, and Indians all had 6:1 odds. It wasn’t like they were not expected to be in the mix before they acquired Stanton.
So, is it fair to say that Stanton is the difference maker this season? Can it be said that he will get the Yankees over the top? Will he help bring a World Series title back to the Big Apple for the first time since 2009?
In the long run—yes. He will be an integral part of a World Series run for the New York Yankees someday. But, through no fault of Stanton, it may not be this season. As intoxicating to watch as his home runs are, there is more to winning a regular season baseball game let alone four of seven games in a playoff series than hitting home runs.
But you almost get a feeling that a lot of pressure is being put on Stanton to deliver because of his contract and the blockbuster trade that brought him to New York. He’s a home run hitter that now plays for the most historic franchise in baseball in the country’s largest market. It’s not a matter of if he’ll perform—he better.
He certainly did in his Yankees debut with a pair of home runs. But then he went silent for four games and only recorded a single hit. As if that wasn’t bad enough, in his home debut he went 0-5 with five strikeouts!
After the game, Stanton had the right attitude about what ended up being an 11-4 win for the Yankees (ESPN):
“Good thing it’s not all about me. I was awful [Tuesday], but Didi picked me up and the rest of the guys. That’s what you need on a not-so-good night for an individual.”
The next day he hit his third home run of the season, but then he followed that up with a 0-4 performance that included his 13th strikeout of the season.
With a home run per every nine at-bats, he is on pace for 44 this season (if he matches his career average of 400 at-bats). If he gets 597 at-bats like in his final season with the Marlins, we’re talking 66 home runs this season.
However, it is worth noting that he is also on pace to potentially strikeout more than 200 times.
But that is what you get with a guy like Stanton. Yes, he is capable of crushing the ball. Fear of him doing that will affect how he is pitched to during at-bats. But with guys like Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, and Gary Sanchez also in the lineup, it will be hard to pitch to any of the Yankees. This will, in turn, help the Yankees make the World Series and potentially win it at some point in the future.
However, those four also combined to strikeout in 26 percent of their cumulative at-bats last season. Until that rate improves, the Yankees may very well be on the outside looking in at the World Series.
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