Attention, gamblers: The New York Yankees, by adding free-agent right-hander Masahiro Tanaka on Wedesday, improved from 14-1 to 10-1 to win the World Series. So say the oddsmakers at Bovada in Fabulous Las Vegas, Nev.
The Los Angeles Dodgers at 13-2 and the Detroit Tigers at 17-2 remain the top two choices to take home the Commissioner's Trophy in 2014. The Washington Nationals also are 10-1 and the reigning World Series champions (the Boston Red Sox) come in at 12-1. The Texas Rangers were hanging with the Yankees at 14-1 until Tanaka sided with the Yankees.
Tanaka also is 10-1 to win the AL Cy Young on a yes/no basis. Clayton Kershaw is the NL's favorite, and the website lists no other pitchers at this time.
Bovada offers other special proposition bets related to how well Tanaka might do individually. Don't tell him; the pressure to earn $175 million in salary and fees already is enough:
Will Masahiro Tanaka win the win the 2014 AL Cy Young?
Total ERA in the 2014 Regular Season
Total Wins in the 2014 Regular Season
Ha, "total wins." Such 20th century thinking. Why not let people bet on his xFIP? Considering his durability in Nippon Professional Baseball, that he went 24-0 for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2013, and the Yankees powerful lineup, then 15 wins seems like a good bet for Tanaka. The Cy Young and ERA titles seem less likely.
As for making the Yankees into World Series stuff again? Tanaka can't fill the gaps in the Yankees bullpen, ensure that Derek Jeter can still play shortstop, keep Mark Teixeira on the field for 150 games, revert CC Sabathia into the form of an ace, or clarify whatever gimmicks the team has planned for third base and second base. Even though they've added the likes of Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, they're still a big mystery. Expect those 10-1 odds to bounce higher.
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