The New York Yankees already have lost Luis Severino for the 2020 season due to injury, so the AL favorites really need new No. 2 Masahiro Tanaka to stay healthy. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Tanaka’s 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one — and an overview.
Masahiro Tanaka MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
Back in February, projected No. 2 Yankees starter Luis Severino learned he needed season-ending Tommy John surgery. He was limited to just three regular-season starts last year by injuries to his rotator cuff and lat muscle, and his arm issues date back to the 2019 ALCS, when he mentioned discomfort in his right forearm while receiving routine treatment following a Game 3 start against Houston.
That’s a big loss as from 2017-18, Severino went 33-14 with a 3.18 ERA and averaged 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings across those two seasons, placing in the top 10 in AL Cy Young Award voting after each campaign.
Also keep in mind that Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German, who led the team with 18 wins last year, is suspended 63 more games for a 2019 off-field issue.
So, while the Yankees did sign superstar pitcher Gerrit Cole this offseason, their depth is limited and they need Tanaka to avoid the injured list. Last year in 182 innings, the Japanese right-hander was just OK, going 11-9 with a 4.45 ERA; the ERA was the second-worst of his MLB career.
Tanaka allowed two earned runs -or-fewer in 17-of-31 starts and one earned run-or-fewer in 11-of-31. He tossed at least 6.0 innings and allowed 2ER-or-fewer in 15 starts in 2019, second-most by a Yankee since 2017, trailing only Severino’s 18 such starts in 2017.
Tanaka threw his fourth career complete game shutout on June 17, 2019, vs. the Rays, earning the win (2H, 1BB, 10K). He is one of three pitchers since 2017 to record three complete-game shutouts, joining Corey Kluber and Ervin Santana.
Also, Tanaka’s four career Opening Day starts are the most ever by a Japanese pitcher, surpassing Hideo Nomo (three). Tanaka’s 947 strikeouts are the most by a Yankees pitcher through his first six Major League seasons and the most by any Yankee through his first 164 career games. He is the fourth Japanese pitcher to reach 900K.
Tanaka loves playing at Yankee Stadium as he went 8-3 with a 3.10 ERA (98.2IP, 34ER) in a career-high 16 starts at home in 2019. He has allowed 2ER-or-fewer in 14 of his last 19 home starts and is 10-3 with a 3.11 ERA (115.2IP, 40ER) with 21BB and 102K in that span. Tanaka is 42-20 (.677) with a 3.36 ERA (516.2IP, 193ER) and 510K in 82 career starts at home, the highest winning percentage at the current Yankee Stadium among pitchers with at least 20 decisions.
His .677 winning percentage at Yankee Stadium is the third-highest among active pitchers (min. 50 decisions) at any ballpark, behind Max Scherzer (47- 13, .783 at Comerica Park) and Clayton Kershaw (93-36, .721 at Dodger Stadium).
In the playoffs, Tanaka was dominant in a victory over the Twins in Game 2 of the ALDS, racking up seven strikeouts over five innings of one-run baseball. The veteran right-hander scattered just three hits and a walk in the contest. He was also great in a win over the Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS, allowing just one hit and one walk over six shutout innings.
However, Masahiro Tanaka yielded four runs — three earned — in five-plus innings in a Game 4 loss to the Astros. It was the first time in eight career postseason starts that Tanaka has allowed more than two runs. He fell to 5-3 with a 1.76 ERA in October. All of his losses have come to the Astros.
After the postseason, Tanaka underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow but he was ready for spring training. He is under contract for $23 million in 2020 with free agency looming in 2021. Tanaka left the USA for Japan during the coronavirus pandemic.