If anyone has missed it, the Yankees are pretty good. If you haven’t noticed, the Bombers lead the Majors in home runs and slugging. Their pitchers have allowed the fewest runs of any staff in baseball. Through 60 games, the Yanks have the best record in baseball.
If that isn’t enough to convince you that this team might be special, well, this next stretch of the schedule is for you. The Bombers have 20 straight games in 20 days, beginning with 13 straight against American League teams that are contenders.
And veteran Matt Carpenter can’t wait for everyone to see this group take on the AL’s best.
“Well, that’s what you want. I mean, you want to see the best matchup against the best and you want to see how this is gonna play out,” Carpenter said. “I’m obviously confident in this group and what we’re capable of and it’ll be good for the rest of baseball to get to see us play teams that are contending for a postseason run and watch us go out and compete against the best.”
The Yankees (44-16) have won four straight and 11 of their last 12 games. They lead the Majors in home runs with 98 and have the big league home run leader in Aaron Judge with 24. They lead baseball in slugging (.441) and OPS (.769). The pitching staff has the best ERA (2.85) in the big leagues and have allowed the fewest runs (180).
“I would say we’re very complete,” Giancarlo Stanton said. “Some of the teams in the past, if we didn’t hit homers, sometimes we didn’t come out with wins. We’re finding all different types of ways to beat teams. Give us an extra out and we’re capitalizing on it. We’re being tough on opponents, trying to sweep everybody.”
The Yankees schedule turns quickly after a day off on Monday and will test them.
The Rays (35-25) come into the Bronx for the first time this season to kick off this stretch of 20 games in 20 straight days. That begins with 13 straight against teams with a winning record; the Rays, at the Blue Jays (35-24) and then the Astros (37-23) come into the Bronx.
So far this season, the Yankees are 15-7 against teams that are currently above .500.
“Obviously, we are coming up against a stretch with really good teams. I mean, you look forward to that. You love playing against other great opponents,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “And we know we’ll have our work cut out for us here over those next couple of weeks, especially in the stretch where we’re playing every single day.
“So I think our guys really look forward to that. You look forward to playing against the best competition and we’re gonna see all teams that are obviously playing really well and we had a couple of division teams that are fighting for the same thing we are, so you know, those games they want a little bit more meaning to them.”
The Yankees had an 8.5-game lead over the Blue Jays and 9 over the Rays at the end of play on Sunday night. The six games against the Rays and three against the Blue Jays in this span have implications in the American League East.
But obviously the four-game series against the AL West Astros, who beat the Yankees in the 2017 American League Championship Series will give the Yankees a look at the best of the rest of the league.
The Bombers have not won the division since 2019 and have not won a pennant since 2009, when they went on to win the World Series. It’s a dry spell that precedes this current group, but it’s one that understands what that means.
“We’ve got a lot of guys in here that really haven’t done much of anything,” Aaron Judge said. “We have [Anthony] Rizzo, [Aroldis Chapman] and a couple of guys with World Series rings, but this team collectively, we haven’t.
“So we’re not satisfied with just winning the division,” Judge continued. “I want to go out there and bring the championship back.”