New York Yankee Analysis: What to expect from the last seven weeks of the season

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees have been surging during the last month, so have the Toronto Blue Jays, while the Tampa Bay Rays continue to be the best team in the AL East. The Boston Red Sox overachieving has ended, making the race for the postseason exciting. Today I will try to predict what I see for the remainder of the season and why. Over the past few years, I have registered just over 50% accuracy in my predictions, so take this for what it is worth.

The Baltimore Orioles: We can get this out of the way right away. The Orioles will finish last in the AL East. No matter what they do in the last weeks of the season, they won’t improve their position.

The Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays are the team that is making this season so interesting. They are a young and energetic team that has done much this season to better themselves. The Jays are just whispering behind the Yankees in the division, with both teams going 7-3 in their last ten games. Although the Blue Jays lead the AL in home runs and OPS thanks to an MVP-caliber season from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., they got an important boost at the trade deadline via the acquisition of two-time All-Star José Berríos, the Yankees are yet to meet up with Berrios.

With the return of George Springer to the outfield and Alec Manoah back in the rotation, things are looking pretty bright for the Jays going forward. Where the Jays may fail is with their not-so-good bullpen has really underperformed. Nevertheless, I predict the Jays will finish third in the East and fight Oakland for the second wild-card spot.

The Boston Red Sox: After the first few weeks of the season, I said they would fall apart when the Red Sox were playing so well. They haven’t but recently have not over-achieved like they did the first half of the season. The addition of Alex Cory, like him or not, has had a huge impact on the Red Sox in changing their culture. In addition, the Red Sox has going for them the return of their ace Chris Sale to the rotation; if he returns to form, it will be a big plus for the Sox.

Rafael Devers has been huge for the Red Sox. he has 27 home runs and 82 RBIs. Right behind him are juggernauts Xander Bogaerts and JT Martinez, with a combined 37 home runs and 133 RBIs. The problem for the Red Sox is that they don’t have a single starting pitcher with an ERA under 4, and during the second half so far, they have gotten little offense from the outfield. Also, in the second half, their bullpen has been less than stellar. Prediction: they will finish fourth in the East and will not make the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Rays: It’s hard to change the picture for the Rays. They have the best put-together team managed by the best manager in the AL East. They went to the World Series last year and will make the postseason this season as well. The addition of Nelson Cruz at the trade deadline could be huge for the Rays as it adds a proven veteran to their relatively young lineup. The young lineup has four players with 20 or more home runs. They don’t have a single starter with a losing record, and Andrew Kittridge 8-1 has been huge for the Rays.

It’s hard to find weaknesses with the Rays. If they have any, it’s a lack of production from short and the loss of their pitching ace Tyler Glasnow that has been a Yankee killer. They also have some injuries to deal with. Luckily for the Rays, they don’t have an extremely challenging schedule ahead. I predict the Tampa Bay Rays will win the AL East by at least 2 games.

The New York Yankees: The Yankees, after a plodding start to the season, have been the best team in baseball for the last several weeks, advancing in the AL East. The Yankees have been winning despite having more injuries and Covid outbreaks (21) than any team in the East. They also did more to improve the team at the trade deadline than any other American League team, with 3 pitchers and contact hitting lefty Anthony Rizzo and power-hitting Joey Gallo.

That’s not to say the Yankees don’t have their problems; they do, and some big ones. Most significant is that the Yankees have been hit harder than other teams with Covid outbreaks that have put key pitchers and key hitters on the Covid list; this coming week, Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will finally be back with the team, followed by pitcher Jordan Montgomery. Also, in the coming week, Anthony Rizzo and catcher Gary Sanchez should rejoin the team. However, the biggest disappointment for the Yankees is that neither of last seasons’ batting average champ DJ LeMahieu and home run leader Luke Voit has yet to perform this season. To get to the postseason the Yankees will need improvement from them both.

Predictions: It’s hard to predict the New York Yankees because they have had so many injuries. With the returning players, and if the team can find a way to limit further infections, they have an excellent chance of finishing second in the AL East and will surely get a wild card berth. If they are fortunate and the Rays are not, they could still take the division.


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