The Yankees are having two completely different seasons: the one in opposition to the Blue Jays and Rays, and the one in opposition to all different opponents.
With Toronto’s blowout win Tuesday in The Bronx, the Yanks are 5-11 in opposition to the 2 AL groups who till this week had been primarily based in Florida (the Blue Jays at the moment are relocating from their minor league facility in Dunedin to Buffalo). The Yanks are 23-9 in opposition to everybody else they’ve performed; that’s 1-1 vs. the Braves and a profitable file in opposition to their different seven foes.
The Yanks had been bullies in a shortened 2020, overwhelming the outmanned Orioles and Red Sox with a 16-4 file whereas going 7-15 in opposition to the Blue Jays and Rays – which price them the AL East. They performed solely a regional schedule final 12 months. This 12 months they’re 11-1 in opposition to non-Eastern division groups. That features a sweep of the AL Central-leading White Sox over the weekend.
Chicago is nice. But the current historical past for the Yankees is that they are going to steamroll a Central opponent within the playoffs, like final season in opposition to Cleveland. Then they bumped into the Rays and their season expired.
Plus, the AL East is projecting as a bear this season. Tampa Bay is pretty much as good as final 12 months, Toronto is healthier, Boston is approach higher. Heck, Baltimore already has overwhelmed the Yankees 4 occasions (in 10 video games) this 12 months after going 5-24 the previous two years.
The Blue Jays sequence began a 12-game stretch wherein the Yanks face the horrible Tigers, but additionally three three-game sequence vs. Toronto, Tampa Bay and Boston. All the AL East sequence are In The Bronx. By the tip of play June 6, we must always have a greater clue who the Yankees are, partly as a result of in Game 58 they are going to lastly see the Red Sox for the primary time. At that time, the Yankees could have 19 of their closing 105 video games – or 18.1 % of their video games – in opposition to their historic rival.
The AL East – and maybe a wild card or two – might come right down to how this robust foursome performs in opposition to one another. The Yanks did take two of three in opposition to the Rays in St. Petersburg two weeks in the past. Still, on this division inside the division, they’re 5-11. The Blue Jays are 9-10. The Rays 11-8. The Red Sox 6-2.
Had the season ended Tuesday, the Yankees would have been the customer for the one-game wild card. They had been in that place due to how properly they’ve pitched. But Corey Kluber’s shoulder injury reiterates that the concern inside the Yankee starters was how few innings so many have pitched in recent times – and what this might seem like as workloads mounted.
At some level – like a lot of the current previous – the Yankee offense both wakes up and carries them, or this division and probably a playoff spot altogether will escape them. The Blue Jays, Rays and Red Sox had been three of the seven groups averaging 5 or extra runs a recreation. The Yanks had been one in all seven averaging fewer than 4. Batting common may not imply what we thought in, say, 1991. But even in 2021, it’s going to be not possible to attain constantly if eight of the 13 gamers who’ve batted most frequently proceed to hit .202 or worse.
The Blue Jays are succeeding and their greatest offseason addition, George Springer, has been restricted to 4 video games. The Rays most likely improved their offense by buying and selling beginning shortstop Willy Adames and changing him with Taylor Walls. And Tampa Bay can (and doubtless will) summon in some unspecified time in the future Wander Franco, the consensus finest prospect within the sport, and Vidal Brujan, who is perhaps Ketel Marte 2.0. Plus, with their system, the Rays might be a commerce deadline risk for one of the best bat – somebody like Nelson Cruz. Nearly one-third of the best way via this season, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez have mixed to hit .312 with a .966 OPS and 35 homers. The Yankee massive three of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela had been .290, .870 and 26 – and the autumn after them was substantial, past a current rise from Gleyber Torres.
So the Yankees badly want the DJ LeMahieu who led the majors in hitting final 12 months and the Luke Voit who led in homers. They want Clint Frazier to be actual and Brett Gardner to not be performed. They want Gary Sanchez to not less than be an influence drive if he’s going to proceed to not even threaten the Mendoza Line.
There is a race inside the the race within the AL East, and up to now, the Yankees haven’t been a success.