The New York Yankees Hot Start Is For Real

NY Yankees Hot Start
Published by Dave Ettinger
Last Updated: 16. Apr 2024.

The New York Yankees entered the 2024 season with a multitude of question marks attached to their expectations. And while the betting world listed them as the fourth favorite to win the 2024 World Series entering the season, injuries were a major concern before the Yankees even stepped into the batter’s box. However, the shorthanded Yankees are off to a red hot start. Fresh off a series win against the Cleveland Guardians, the Yankees have the best record in Major League Baseball at 12-4. The Yankees may not win 121 games this season (their current pace), but their hot start is for real, and the rest of the league should be on full alert.

Top-Three Reasons For Success

Juan Soto

The Yankees’ prized acquisition this offseason has been one of the main catalysts for their success early on in 2024. Soto has regularly found himself batting second, and has not disappointed. He’s batting a cool .344 and his OPS is a ridiculous 1.009. Soto, like Aaron Judge, impacts the entire lineup. Everyone sees more pitches when he’s in the lineup, and his infectious “Soto Shuffle” has infiltrated Yankee Stadium. Hopefully the Yankees’ front office will have him sign on the dotted line this season, and we’ll be witness to that shuffle for years to come.

Anthony Volpe

Anthony Volpe is off to a scorching hot start in his sophomore season. Volpe has cut down on his swings and misses and has been trusted in the leadoff spot on a handful of occasions with D.J. LeMahieu on the injured list. Volpe’s defense has also remained stellar, as he leads the league in putouts for shortstops (40). Volpe’s offensive improvements are in the numbers:

Strikeout %: 13.6% (27.8% in 2023)

Walk %: 15.2% (8.7% in 2023)

Batting Average: .382 (.209 in 2023)

Starting Rotation

When Gerrit Cole was shut down for 10-12 weeks right before Opening Day, the Yankees’ starting pitching rotation quickly became their biggest weakness (on paper). Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon had awful 2023 campaigns, and Luis Gil had only started seven games at the MLB level (his last start coming in 2022). However, this starting rotation has been fantastic through the first 15 games of the season. Carlos Rodon has pitched to a 1.72 e.r.a. through three starts, and is starting to look like the pitcher who signed a six-year, $162 million contract in 2023. 

The newcomer to the Yankees’ rotation this season, Marcus Stroman, has also looked the part through three starts. He’s thrown two quality starts and has eaten plenty of innings in the process (17). He didn’t give up an earned run until this third start of the season, and his e.r.a. sits at a comfortable 2.12. Stroman has also brought his own shuffle to Yankee Stadium…

Winning In Spite Of Struggling/Injured Stars

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge is struggling so far this season; that’s a fact. Judge’s stats through 16 games:

Batting Average: .207

Home Runs: 3

RBI: 9

Runs: 7

Strikeouts: 15 (58 At-Bats)

The baseball world has wasted no time highlighting Judge’s early season struggles. Everyone needs to relax. Judge got off to a similarly slow start in 2022, hitting just one home run and driving in two runs through his first 13 games. Oh yeah, that’s the season Judge ended up hitting 62 home runs. Judge is going to be fine. Despite his low batting average, he currently holds a .373 on-base percentage, having drawn 16 walks. Judge looks to look extremely patient at the plate this season, and let’s not forget he missed time in Spring Training. 

Yankees’ Manager, Aaron Boone, has been asked about Judge’s struggles everyday, and he doesn’t seem concerned at all: “I mean, he does have an almost .400 on-base percentage,” Boone said. “So, I sure would like to struggle like that. It’s a matter of time.”

The fact that the Yankees have the best record in baseball, while Judge has practically disappeared at the plate this season, should put Yankees’ faithful at ease and should scare the rest of the league.

Gerrit Cole

The 12-4 Yankees have also mowed down their competition without their best pitcher, as Gerrit Cole remains sidelined with elbow inflammation. Cole has begun a throwing program and is on schedule to return to the mound before the end June. The Yankees’ ace will obviously be welcomed back with open arms, but the aforementioned starting rotation has stepped up in a big way in his absence.

Yankees’ Betting Odds

World Series (+800)

Win American League (+370)

Win AL East (-120)

Judge MVP (+850)

Soto MVP (+300)

Cole CY Young (N/A)

Rodon CY Young (+3000)

Aaron Boone Manager of the Year (+1000)

**Odds per FanDuel Sportsbook (as of 4/15/2024)**

Due to the Yankees’ hot start, all of these odds have gone down since the start of the season except Aaron Judge’s MVP odds. These popular odds will be on the move all season, and anytime is a great time to check out the best MLB sportsbooks.

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