By signing Cole to this record-breaking deal, the Yankees are World Series favorites in 2020.
The New York Yankees have signed Gerrit Cole to a record-breaking $324 million contract. That money will be divided over a nine years, for an average annual salary of $36 million – the most in MLB. The contract’s total and average yearly value are both the most ever given to a pitcher. Among all-time free agent signings, only Bryce Harper’s 13-year $330 million deal with the Phillies is worth more. Mike Trout (12 years, $430 million) and Giancarlo Stanton’s (13 years, $325 million) larger deals were extensions, with lower average annual values. On top of that, Cole gets a full no-trade clause. The Yankees have the financial clout to absorb all of that money over the next almost-decade. But they also know it’s money well spent. Of all the free agent pitchers available this winter, Cole was the best option.
Cole’s last two seasons with the Houston Astros greatly enhanced what was already a high-quality MLB resume. In 2018, the power-throwing right-hander went from the small market Pittsburgh Pirates to an annual World Series contender, and flourished. In 412 innings, he struck out 602 batters, while only allowing 123 earned runs, and compiling a WAR of 12.2.
As I noted in my write-up of Zack Wheeler’s signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, a big change Cole made in Houston was an emphasis on his four-seam fastball. That repertoire change, and an improved set of fielders behind him, elevated Cole from very good to great in a short space of time. So, can Cole now elevate the Yankees’ chances of winning the World Series next season? Let’s take a look at what several sports books have to say.
FUTURES IMPACT: Does Cole change the oddsmakers outlook on the Yankees?
Before the signing, Pointsbet had the over/under for Yankees regular season wins at 97.5. After the signing, that rose to 101.5. Moreover, before the signing, they gave Yankees a +110 payout to win the AL East, and a +230 payout to win the AL pennant. After the signing, those numbers shifted to -115 for the AL East, and +200 for the AL pennant. The smaller shift for the pennant is unsurprising. The Houston Astros were favored ahead of the signing, with a +200 payout, and slid only slightly to +225 after – reflecting their very strong roster, even without Cole.
When it comes to the World Series, Draftkings now has the Yankees as the heavy favorite to win it all. The payout is +400, or $100 to win $400. Prior to acquiring Cole, the Yankees were +550 to win in October. So, Vegas really placed a lot of value on this move.
Some BIG PROPS for Gerrit Cole
With this week’s two biggest signings being Cole and Stephen Strasburg (7 years, $245 million), Pointsbet is offering a series of Player Specials on both pitchers. For Cole, they peg his over/under for strikeouts at 280.5, wins at 16.5, and have a +400 payout for winning the 2020 CY Young. Those are impressive personal numbers, but can they translate to Yankee victories?
Draftkings has a whole menu of Gerrit Cole prop bet specials. This includes a nice value at -107 if he wins more than 16.5 games for the Yanks. They are offering an enormous payout of +7500, or $100 to win $7,500 if Cole throws 20 or more strikeouts in one game. DK will also pay out +3300 if he throws a No Hitter during the regular season. And, if Cole wins the 2020 Cy Young it’s +375.
Stay Tuned to The Props Network for more MLB Futures betting news during the off season.
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