Gerrit Cole Could End Up Defining the Yankees 2022 Season

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The New York Yankees are steamrolling the American League right now, as they currently boast the best record in the junior circuit. In the first of a four-game set at the Chicago White Sox last night, they out-bludgeoned the Pale Hose 15-7.

We know the Yankees can hit, especially with runners in scoring position, but they won’t end the World Series title “drought” unless their starting pitching rises up to become equally dominant. That’s where Gerrit Cole comes in, as he must be the ace of the staff and set the tone.

He takes to the hill tonight on the Southside of Chicago, and that means the smart money will be on the Yanks. The best betting sign up offers can be utilized to back New York on a current money line of -196. The original ML was -165, with 82% of the money line bets being placed on New York. The Yankees attracted 86% of the money line handle too, as ESPN matchup predictor gives them a 68.6% chance of winning the Friday night clash.

Gerrit Cole is 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA on the season, 1.12 WHIP and 37 strikeouts against just 11 walks over 30.1 innings pitched.

His last time out was a no decision, despite his giving up just one earned run over 6.1 IP. The game, part one of a Mother Day’s doubleheader, ended on a walk-off winner by 2B Gleyber Torres. The game-ending homer then prompted Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward to cry about the short porch in right field of Yankee Stadium.

Entering tonight, Cole has now posted a 0.47 ERA in his last three starts (19.0 IP, 1ER). Sunday was his first double-digit strikeout game of the season, and 48th of his career. It was also his 13th double-digit strikeout game with the club, the seventh-most by a Yankees pitcher all-time, trailing only Ron Guidry (23), David Cone (21), CC Sabathia (20), Al Downing (17), Masahiro Tanaka (14) and Whitey Ford (14).

Two of those guys are in Monument Park by the way.

While there are plenty of people out there who still balk at the Gerrit Cole signing, maybe now is the time to rethink that. The nine-year contract he signed with the Bronx Bombers in 2019 was worth $324 million, giving him an average annual salary of $36 million.

It will all be worth it if he leads the team to their 28th World Series title this fall. As you know, the club has failed to win the AL pennant in their last nine trips to the postseason. All the cliches about good pitching beating good hitting in the MLB Playoffs are cliches for a reason- they’re true.

If Gerrit Cole is indeed that shut down starter, who eats up innings in a short series (provided the Yankees win early and often to make those series briefer), it could make all the difference in the world.

There just aren’t too many teams out there that can throw out someone as dominant as Cole out there repeatedly.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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