That has been far from the case, however, as the team has struggled mightily at times and is even out of the playoff picture for the time being.
With a 41-38 record, the Yankees are fourth in the American League East, a division that everybody thought they would win after Tampa lost crucial players in the offseason and Boston disappointed in 2020.
The Yankees still have a chance to advance to the playoffs if they have a big second half, but there is no denying they have had a rough first half.
The most worrying situation is not the record per se, it’s the run differential.
While Boston is +44, Tampa Bay is +84, and even Toronto is +71, the Yankees’ run differential is 0 before Wednesday’s games.
That stems from an issue that is still not corrected and could derail their season if they don’t take care of it before the trade deadline: the offense.
The Yankees Offense Has Been Anemic
The Yankees have scored 321 runs so far in the 2021 MLB season, which is ranked second-to-last among AL teams.
Monty gave you six innings of three run ball. Can’t ask for much more. Yankees offense has to be better
— Anthony Pucik (@AnthonyPucik) June 27, 2021
Yes, that’s right: an organization that has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks, Gio Urshela, and Luke Voit (who led MLB in home runs last year, by the way) just can’t justify the lack of production.
Yes, injuries have affected the Yankees, but that has been true for every team in the league.
The Bombers lost Hicks for the season with a wrist injury and have had to play for long spurts without Voit, who nursed a partially torn meniscus in spring training and a grade 2 oblique strain once he returned.
The outfield is particularly concerning.
The Main Suspects
Only Judge has been able to produce his usual elite offensive output, and the rest of the offense, except for Sanchez (.497 slugging percentage and 14 home runs) has struggled.
Voit (.205/.271/.359) hasn’t produced but has been extremely banged up.
The one player who is running out of excuses is Torres.
— 🇸🇵🇴🇷🇹🇸 ②④/⑦ (@B_R_R_D) June 23, 2021
The 24-year-old shortstop is hitting a meager .242/.324/.313 and has only three home runs in 285 plate appearances.
The situation is especially worrisome since he also failed to produce last year.
Torres is looking like a shell of himself and far from the version that hit 38 home runs just two years ago.
Torres’ struggles have been so deep and so prolonged that there are voices around the fanbase asking the front office to bring in a top shortstop like Trevor Story at the trade deadline.
Overall, the relief pitching has been very good and the starting pitching, while inconsistent, hasn’t been the main problem.
If we had to point out only one unexpected situation or circumstance that happens to be derailing the Yankees’ season, the offense is easily the answer.