Yankees: Predicting statistical leaders for the 2018 season

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Wins and Strikeouts: Luis Severino

Last season Sevy won the Triple Crown of pitching amongst all Yankees starters in what was a breakout campaign for the 24-year-old right-hander. He finished third in the AL Cy Young voting after posting a 14-6 record with a 2.98 ERA and 230 strikeouts. In the process, he established himself as one of the top pitchers in the game today.


Nobody in this Yankees rotation has stuff like Sevy and last year he started to show the workhorse mentality you need to have to be an ace of a staff. That will enable him to have another season that could put him in Cy Young contention. He’s coming off a 14 win season which is a solid number, but he probably should have had more when you take into account his 11 no-decisions. With this Yankees lineup expected to score more runs than any offense in the game, that win total is likely to increase in 2018.

One of the things that made him so special last season was his ability to pitch deep into games while maintaining his elite stuff. He could be in the seventh inning of a start with over 100 pitches and he would still be dealing fastballs anywhere from 98-100 mph. If he can continue to do that this season it will lead to more opportunities to put himself in a position to get wins.

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While it wouldn’t surprise me if Masahiro Tanaka or Sonny Gray ended up leading the team in wins, I would be shocked if a healthy Severino doesn’t lead the team in strikeouts. Last season Sevy finished fourth in the AL with a whopping 230 strikeouts.

The combination of his power fastball and wipeout slider accounted for the majority of his K’s but a much-improved change-up also helped him add to his total toward the tail end of the season. The key though was fastball location which was something he struggled mightily with during a difficult 2016 season. Now that he’s finally put it all together 230 K’s is a number that’s well within reach this season and one he could certainly surpass.

Moving forward Sevy is now the unquestioned ace of this Yankees staff and with that comes more responsibility. He’s the ace who would get the ball in Game 1 of a playoff series and the ace who will get the ball on Opening Day in Toronto. Don’t expect him to give up that title anytime soon.