The 2021 New York Yankees experience has been the rollercoaster of all rollercoasters.
After winning 13-straight games to climb into the top American League wild card spot, the Yankees have gone back to their unbelievably frustrating ways of losing close games again and again.
New York dropped the final two games of its series against the Oakland Athletics, losing one of the games when reliever Chad Green gave up two late runs after being brought in to keep the game tied at one apiece.
New York has now proceeded to lose two games to the Los Angeles Angels after Aaron Boone allowed Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon to implode in the early innings, and the Yankees’ offense was unable to continuously come back from deficits.
It’s been a wild ride for the Yankees and their fans, and while they still have a two-game lead over Boston for the top wild card spot, I can’t trust them as a legitimate World Series contender after watching them look like two different teams all season.
WynnBET has the Yankees tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for fifth on the odds list to win the World Series at +850, but it feels like those odds are based on the potential that they’ve flashed but haven't found consistently all season.
And even though the Yankees hit a stride in August, they’re still plenty of concerns on the roster. Taillon has gotten rocked in his past two starts against Oakland and Los Angeles, and the Yankees didn’t get what they wanted out of Kluber in his return from the injured list on Monday.
Outside of Gerrit Cole, is there a Yankees starter that you can truly trust down the stretch and in the playoffs? Sure, Nestor Cortes and Luis Gil have made some great starts, but do the Yankees really want those guys pitching in the biggest moments of the season?
On top of that, the Yankees’ bullpen has been ravaged by injuries, as Zack Britton and Darren O’Day are both done for the season and Aroldis Chapman has been brutal since returning from the injured list, as he’s allowed five hits, three walks and two earned runs in four appearances (3.1 innings).
If Green or Jonathan Loáisiga start to struggle, the Yankees are going to have some serious issues closing out games.
New York still boasts the fourth-best earned run average in baseball, but it hasn’t been able to take advantage of it since the team is scoring just 4.36 runs per game.
Look, the Yankees showed how good they can be over the 13-game win streak, but they’ve also shown that those moments of greatness are few and far between this season. Even though they have the fifth-best odds to win the World Series, I simply can’t trust them to put it all together for an entire playoff run, especially as a wild card team.
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