The New York Yankees will enter the 2018 season with high expectations. After falling just one game short of a trip to the World Series in 2017, Brian Cashman made sure that won’t happen this year. Can the Yankees count on another great season by Aaron Judge? Will Giancarlo Stanton fall victim to the same pressure Alex Rodriguez did in his first few years in New York? How will Aaron Boone respond to managing the team everyone loves to hate?
Here are three bold predictions for the New York Yankees 2018 season.
The Yankees Will Win 100 Games
Last season, the Yankees won 91 games in a season where they didn’t have Giancarlo Stanton. His presence will not be the reason for the extra nine wins alone, but he will count for at least five along the season. As good as the Yankees’ offense was in 2017, it just became more potent with his addition. Another reason for the extra wins will be Sonny Gray and Aroldis Chapman. Gray came over in a deadline trade, but with his arm available from the start, Gray will be good to bring the Yankees’ rotation another 12 wins. Blown saves are a part of the game for a closer. However, if Chapman can come back with his head screwed on straight, the 22 saves he had in 2017 would just be half of what he will get in 2018.
Brett Gardner Will Have 200 Hits
As crazy as that sounds, this could become a strong possibility. Last season, according to Sports Reference, Gardner led the Yankees with 157 hits, but that was without the bats and experience they have now. Take into account where Gardner will be hitting from. As the leadoff hitter who will be followed by the likes of Aaron Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, and Hicks, pitchers cannot afford to walk Gardner. With 70 walks last season, Gardner was second only to Judge for the Yankees. Who will want to intentionally walk Gardner with the heavy hitters to follow? Pitchers will have no choice but to give him something to hit in the hope that Gardner will pass the 122 strikeouts he posted in 2017.
The Yankees Will Have Three 15-Game Winners
Last season, the Yankees’ pitching staff was pretty good. While the offseason focused on the dominance of Mashiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, it was Luis Severino who came out as the clear ace. Severino and Sabathia led the Yankees with 14 wins each in 2017, followed by Tanaka (13), and Jordan Montgomery (9). But this is a new year and the season where Montgomery takes over Sabathia’s role and wins 15 games. Severino will win 15-plus, and the same goes for Tanaka. The reason Sabathia will fall below that mark is age. The Yankees have the offense to put up runs. However, I can see Sabathia only starting 25 games in 2018. It will be Montgomery, Tankaka, and Severino who will lead the Yankees’ charge in 2018.