there was a heavyweight fight in the bronx last weekend. the new york yankees and the houston astros, owners of the two best records in mlb, met in a four-game series at yankee stadium. It was eventful. Aaron Judge had hits on Thursday and Sunday, three Astros pitchers pitched a combined no-hitter on Saturday, and Jose Altuve reached base 10 times in four games.
“These two teams, we’ll see each other a lot in the future,” the judge told mlb.com after Sunday’s victory. “We’ve seen each other a lot the last few years in the postseason. You look forward to these weekends, playing good teams and seeing where you stack up.”
Reading: Best single season record mlb
the yankees and astros split the four games, then new york swept three games of the mlb-worst athletics from oakland this week. Wednesday’s victory (NYY 5, Oak 3) improved New York to 56-20, the best record in baseball by a wide margin. here are the top positions of the mlb:
- new york yankees: 56-20
- houston stars: 47-27 (8 gb)
- new york mets: 47-29 (9 gb)
- los angeles dodgers: 45-28 (9 1/2 gb )
- san diego parents: 45-31 (11 gb)
the stars are closer to having the 13th best record in baseball than the first. The Yankees have built a sizable lead over the rest of the league, and while there’s still plenty of the season to play, they have to feel pretty good about where they sit with the schedule just days away from July, Saturday’s no-hitter. . although.
The 2022 Yankees are the ninth team in history and only the third team in the expansion era (since 1961) to win at least 56 of their first 76 games. here are the other eight and how the rest of their seasons played out:
won the world series
won the world series
won the world series
giants of 1912
lost world series
pirates of 1909
won the world series
won the world series
pirates of 1902
lost world series
Seattle’s 116 wins in 2001 are tied with the 1906 Cubs for the most in a single season in baseball history. Chicago went 116-36 in 1906 and had a better winning percentage than the 2001 Mariners (.763 vs. .716), but 116 wins is the all-time record. no team has won more, and only six teams have won as many as 110 games in a season.
The 56-20 record puts the Yankees on pace to win 119 games. his best mlb plus-151 run differential is projected at a 115-win rate, so at this point, nearly halfway through the season, it’s not far-fetched to wonder if the 2022 yankees can match or even beat the record of 116 games won by the 2001 Mariners (and 1,906 Cubs).
Here are three reasons to believe the Yankees can win 116 games this season, and three reasons to believe they’ll fall short. given what we’re talking about here – 116 wins is a lot of wins – it’s much easier to find reasons why the yankees won’t, but we’ll do our best to find reasons why they can make history.
three reasons why the 2022 yankees will win 116 games
They’re great at everything. They really are. The Yankees lead baseball in the fewest runs allowed per game (3.05) and are tied with the Dodgers for the most runs scored per game (5.04). they also lead in defensive runs saved (48). As a result, his career differential of plus-152 is the best in the sport, comfortably ahead of the second-place Dodgers (plus-125).
new york’s dominance extends beyond runs scored and allowed. they are winning all kinds of games against all kinds of opponents. the yankees have the best record in baseball in these games:
complies in 24-12 (.667)
stars in 27-16 (.628)
stars at 13-6 (.684)
explosion (decided by more than 5 executions)
Dodgers at 18-4 (.818)
vs. .500 or better teams
stars at 14-9 (.609)
vs. teams under .500
is met in 22-10 (.688)
The Yankees have 10 wins out of the gate this season, by far the most in baseball, and after Wednesday’s comeback effort, they’re an incredible 24-20 in games they’ve trailed. they have a winning record in games they were losing at some point! that’s remarkable as you might suspect, no other team comes close to having a winning record when they’ve fallen behind in a game.
this isn’t a team that dominates in cozy yankees ballpark (for what it’s worth, yankees hitters are 111 ops+ at home and 117 ops+ on the road, so they’re better off away from the short porch of right field) and is just decent on the road. the yankees are great at home, great on the road, great in close games, great against good teams, you name it. they can win any type of game against any type of opponent.
they have help on the way. help through players coming back from the disabled list and help through the trade deadline. the yankees have been very healthy this year (losing setup man chad green to tommy john surgery is their only significant injury of the season) though they haven’t had aroldis chapman or jonathan loaisiga in the last month and are two of their top four relievers . Chapman is due back this week. loáisiga is still a few weeks away.
Those two come to bolster the bullpen, and the smart money is for the Yankees to address other needs at the deadline. this amazing start allows them to be patient and not rush into anything, but there are needs to be addressed, and gm brian cashman & co. Resting on our laurels would be a mistake. the 2001 mariners did not win the world series and they are not mentioned as one of the greatest teams of all time because of that. the Yankees do not want to suffer the same fate. They will do what they have to do to improve.
The garden is an obvious area for improvement. joey gallo has hit .163/.290/.369 in 120 games with the yankees since he hit the deadline last year, and now he’s starting to lose playing time after being relegated to ninth in the lineup . Going from rooster and bringing in a lefty outfield bat (Andrew Benintendi?) is an easy, straightforward way to upgrade the roster. a little more casting depth doesn’t hurt either. yankees can be upgraded in some places and i’d bet they will.
they have aaron judge. y judge has leveled up this season and has become a dominant and key player capable of turning his team on their backs for long periods of time. he already has three hits, his 29 home runs are six more than any other player in baseball, and he slid smoothly into center field to allow for an optimal defensive lineup. judge impacts play on both sides of the ball as much as any player in the sport.
There’s also this: Judge is playing for a contract. he famously turned down a $200 million-plus contract extension before the season and took a gamble on himself, and that gamble sure looks great right now. Despite all of his past injury woes, Judge has been perfectly healthy for the past two years (minus a 10-day stint on the covid list last July), and a full season Judge is a player of caliber. mvp. he’s hitting .290/.365/.636 this year and his value transcends his cutting line. he is what ichiro suzuki was to the sailors of 2001.
three reasons the 2022 yankees won’t win 116 games
They’re already coming back down to earth. Before sweeping the unlucky A’s, the Yankees were 4-4 in their previous eight games and three of the four wins required a late-game comeback. the entrance. there’s something to be said for never being out of a game: the yankees have lost 13 of their 20 games by no more than two runs, but the yankees came closer to being 2-6 or even 1-7 in those eight games than they were 6-2 or 7-1. comeback wins are great. convincing wins are, well, more convincing.
last weekend’s series of stars exposed some of new york’s flaws. Much of the middle of their lineup (Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, etc.) is susceptible to hard-throwing righties like Justin Verlander and Cristian Javier, and the bottom of the lineup has too many dead spots. Gallo, Aaron Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa have all been comfortably below average at the plate. a third of the lineup doesn’t do much damage.
Also, Yankees starting pitchers have a 4.95 ERA in their last 11 games, and have allowed at least four runs five times in those 11 games. they allowed at least five runs a total of nine times in their first 65 games. the new york rotation is really good, although it really isn’t as good as it was the first couple of months, and a return to normalcy is underway. that applies to the rotation and the whole team. his winning pace has already begun to show signs of slowing.
East is too tough. The Mariners were so good in 2001 that the A’s won 102 games and had the second-best record in the American League, but finished 14 games behind first place. However, the Angels (75-87) and Rangers (73-89) were pretty bad that year, and those were the days of the four-team West and six-team NL Central.
this year’s east is tougher than the 2001 west. the east became the top division with four 91-win teams last season and the division may very well send four teams to the postseason this year. and the fifth team, the orioles, is improved and is no longer a complete cake like the last few seasons.
Excluding the Mariners and Yankees, here’s how the other 2001 West and 2022 East teams fared in non-divisional play. this is what they did when playing against teams outside of their division:
- 2001 west: 174-138 (.557)
- 2022 east: 122-77 (.613)
non-Mariner western teams played at a 90-win pace when they didn’t meet each other in 2001. this year’s non-yankee eastern teams are playing at a 99-win pace when they didn’t meet each. there really is no debate. the east is the American League class and really the baseball class. it is the toughest and deepest division in the sport. I’m not sure you can argue otherwise.
the yankees still have 34 games left with their eastern rivals, including 16 against the red sox team that has the second-best record in the american league (28-11) since its start 14-22 (the yankees they are 29-11 during that time). nine of the 16 are also at fenway park. The Yankees have plenty of grueling games left between divisions. teams to the east will hit each other.
they are going to take their foot off the gas. the priority in the bronx is not to win 116 games. is to win the World Series, and based on the past few years, the Yankees will rest their players to make sure they’re in top form come October. they’ve employed an almost obsessive load-management program the past few seasons and that was when they didn’t have sizable division leaders.
once the yankees start to get things done, and to be sure, they’re a long way from doing anything, judge will probably have a few games to prepare for the postseason. the same stanton and anthony rizzo. gerrit cole might rest a bit more between starts, relievers ace clay holmes and michael king might not work days in a row as often, etc.
If the Yankees continue their 119-win pace, they’ll lock in a postseason berth and home-court advantage for the entire postseason pretty early (mid-September or so), at which point they’ll take their foot off the gas. . they will start to rest players, and resting players will slow down the winning pace. I’m 100 percent sure everyone with the Yankees would rather be at full strength heading into the postseason than win 116 games, and they’ll act accordingly.