The New York Yankees have been eyeing their 28th World Series championship for quite some time now and look like they are primed to do so. They are sitting at a 51-18 record as of this writing and are looking like the most dominant team in the 21st century up to this point. Today, we are going to dissect this team and discuss how good they can actually be.
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Pitching? No Problem
Heading into the regular season this year, there seemed to be a lot of question marks surrounding the Yankees pitching staff after their ace Gerrit Cole. Jameson Taillon has had two Tommy John Surgeries, Luis Severino rarely pitched the last few seasons, Nestor Cortes Jr could have been a flash in the pan with the league catching up to him, and Jordan Montgomery is an okay back-of-the-rotation pitcher. However, all five have clicked this season as the Yankees starting pitchers are second in baseball and leading the American League with a 2.88 ERA.
Even the bullpen has been doing extremely well as they are without Zack Britton for most, if not all the year, with Tommy John Surgery as well as losing Chad Green early in the season to the same injury. However, young arms have stepped up like Clay Holmes who has taken the closer role and has proven to be the dominant pitcher the franchise envisioned when trading for him last season. They have incredible bullpen depth and that is without Aroldis Chapman being effective this season. Guys like Wandy Peralta, Michael King, and Clarke Schmidt have also stepped up and brought the bullpen to second in the majors with a 2.92 bullpen ERA.
Pitching coach Matt Blake has to be a main reason why the pitching staff has dominated as much as they have been as once he took over, the entire franchise took his philosophy of pitching from the minors on up.
Bronx Bombers Are Clicking
The struggle for the New York Yankees offenses in the past has been their inability to score runs without the home runs coming as they do throughout the regular season. However, this team has shown the ability to put hits together and beat some tough pitchers including Shane McClanahan, Alek Manoah, and Shohei Ohtani to name a few. This team is connecting on all pitches as they lead the majors with a .769 team OPS while scoring an excellent 5.12 runs per game up to this point.
That is with the struggles of outfielders Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo throughout their lineup as well. Hicks has really begun to turn a corner, but the Yankees seem to have lost their trust in Gallo’s abilities as he is pinch-hit for in late game situations against lefty pitching. The lineup is just too talented with guys like Aaron Judge, DJ Lemahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres to let a bad hitting season by one player weight them down.
Of course we need to highlight center fielder Aaron Judge’s season as well as he is second in the majors in OPS (1.042), leading in home runs (27), second in RBI (52), and 10th in batting average (.302). He has been the frontrunner for American League MVP as the numbers indicate and is playing center field, after being traditionally a right fielder his entire career.
They Still Have Room to Improve
The New York Yankees did not make the big splash in free agency as they did not sign any of the premier shortstops on the market like Carlos Correa or Trevor Story. They instead bet on their core and made little improvements. That means they still have around $10 million to play with depending on the outcome of Judge’s arbitration meeting. That can be one or two significant players added at the Trade Deadline and could take this from a great team to an all-time scary team that wins the World Series.