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Five “prop bets” for the Yankees’ 2020 season

In honor of the Super Bowl, let’s find some weird things to bet on for the upcoming baseball season.

Betting Lines Released For Stanley Cup Final At The Westgate Las Vegas Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Besides the football on the field, the Super Bowl is known for a lot of things like commercials, parties, halftime shows, and more. Another of those things is betting.

Sports betting is a big deal anyway, but the most well known sporting event in the country tends to get people who wouldn’t otherwise care about that stuff interested. It also goes beyond just bets about the outcome of the game. “Prop bets” about the game, and everything surrounding it, are also quite possible. You can probably search and be able to bet on everything from Patrick Mahomes’ passing yard total to what color Gatorade the winning coach gets drenched with will be.

In that spirit, let’s come up with some Yankees themed prop bets for the 2020 season.

Gerrit Cole strikeouts vs. Yankees’ team home runs: what’s higher?

Were this a bet last year, Cole strikeouts would have won by 20. Now that both instances will be good for the Yankees, what will be higher this time around?

After the seeming discrepancy between the playoff baseball and the regular season one, will home run totals remain around 2019’s level or will they drop? Even if the baseball does revert to a less homer-friendly one, the Yankees still have the big beefy boys who will probably put up a large total. As for Cole, the Steamer projections at FanGraphs predicted him to strike out 280 hitters this year, but considering the 326 he put up last year, this could be a tight race.

Players that start the season in the minors who put up a 2+ WAR season - Over/Under: 0.5

One of the overarching themes for the 2019 Yankees was the player that started the season on the bench or in the minors coming in and not just proving to be a decent replacement, but genuinely becoming an important contributor. Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman were the most notable of a group that also included the likes of Cameron Maybin, Mike Ford, and even Thairo Estrada. Can they find another diamond in the rough in 2020?

On one hand, it’s hard to do because there’s a reason those guys aren’t on major-league rosters. Also, it’s hard to imagine that the Yankees are so injured that they have to rely on multiple of that type of player for a second straight year. On the other hand, hey, maybe there’s some pixie dust still around.

Will another Aaron Boone ejection go viral?

On July 19th, the Yankees’ manager was ejected after arguing with the home plate umpire. During the argument, Boone called his team “savages in the box,” among other, less printable things. The description became a rallying cry for the 2019 Yankees, who went on to win 103 games and put up all sorts of absurd numbers at the plate.

In general, when Boone goes off on an umpire, several of the incidents have been pretty notable. Back in 2018, he imitated a catcher during an argument with an umpire over balls and strikes. Will 2020 continue the trend? The odds would probably trend more towards “no,” because while he had two moments, he’s far from a Bobby Cox figure. However, it also wouldn’t be shocking if some home plate ump shows up and calls an iffy strike zone.

Speaking of viral moments...

Brett Gardner dugout bat banging moments - Over/Under: 1.5

The origin of Gardner’s dugout roof shenanigans also began on July 19th, proceeding the events mentioned in the above rant. In the following months, Gardner was ejected from multiple games, including once for attempting it again. Following the ejections he reined it in, however, he is undoubtedly an emotional player. Will the temptation get to him after a bad call on a strike three? It’s not hard to see it happening at least once next season, but will the possibility of more ejections cause him to stop from doing it multiple times?

Brett Gardner garbage can banging moments - Over/Under: 0.5

An even better scenario would be if Gardner became a true memelord and did it to a garbage can, perhaps in a game at Minute Maid Field.