The Yankees have played exactly one-third of the season, and they hold the best record in baseball at 39-15.
The Mets are the closest team in total wins with 37. Each of the other 29 teams have lost at least 19 games, four more than the Yankees. They just had a 6-0 homestand against the Angels and Tigers, and it felt automatic. When older fans talk about the 90s dynasty teams, this is what I envision.
Anyone who has followed the team knows what makes this team great. They have had the best pitching staff in the league, especially when it comes to starting pitching. This is easily the best pitching staff the team has had since their championship window opened in 2017. The rotation of Cole, Severino, Montgomery, Taillon and Cortes has performed to a level Yankees fans could only have dreamed of. To say that they are the biggest reason the Yankees are where they are right now would be an understatement.
The New York Yankees pitching staff currently leads the AL in:
Wins – 39
ERA – 2.74
K – 498
BB – 130
BAA – .210
K/BB – 3.83
WHIP – 1.04
Shutouts – 8#YANKSonYES x #RepBX pic.twitter.com/87D7y1OOMf
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) June 6, 2022
Offensively, Aaron Judge is playing the best baseball of his career with 21 home runs already and a 200 wRC+. 100 is league-average, so Judge is putting up an offensive season that is 100% better than the league-average hitter. The Yankees have also gotten good offensive production out of Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson. With Gleyber Torres bouncing back and Jose Trevino producing more than expected offensively, the Yankees offense has been one of the best in the league.
All Rise for a Leadoff Dinger 👨⚖️ pic.twitter.com/QMvbdVYWO4
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 4, 2022
The scariest part for the rest of the league is that the Yankees are doing all of this with some clear holes. The bottom third of the lineup has not been very good. Joey Gallo has not been what the Yankees have envisioned since getting traded to the Bronx and Aaron Hicks has struggled mightily at the plate coming back from injury. Both of them have been below-average according to wRC+. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has also been below-average offensively. He was not expected to be great offensively, but he also is not amazing defensively at shortstop. While he is an upgrade from what the Yankees had at the position in 2021, his best defensive position is third base.
The Yankees have gotten below-average performances from the shortstop and left field positions. Given that the Yankees made two major trades at the deadline last season when they were just hovering above .500, it is tough to imagine that Brian Cashman will not make an upgrade to at least one of those positions of need. It might be tough to add a shortstop, but the Yankees have been waiting on multiple prospects in the minors at that position. Whether it is Ian Happ from the Cubs or Andrew Benintendi from the Royals, there are plenty of outfield options to target at the trade deadline. Like every year, Cashman will make additions to bolster the bullpen as well.
This Yankees team has been special so far in 2022, and it might get better. Yankees fans should just enjoy the ride while they can, because a team like this does not come around very often.
Photo Credit: Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post