Yankees Dominating American League, Some Things Still Don’t Change

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In this the strangest of Major League Baseball seasons, with several rule changes that are more befitting a sandlot or a kickball diamond, at least some things remain the same. At the top of that list is the New York Yankees dominating the American League.

While this #Sprintto60 MLB season transpires under unprecedented times, at least it has one thing in common with the baseball of your father’s, grandfather’s and great grandfather’s time- the Yankees are winning, and winning big.

Dominating their archrivals, the Boston Red Sox, and winning the series finale on Sunday Night Baseball, the game before that in another nationally televised contest, the Bronx Bombers completed a 5-0 week.

They enter tonight with a 16-7 record, the best mark in the American League. They entered the season with the third best odds of winning it all, behind the L.A. Dodgers and the Houston Astros, but now, only the denizens of Chavez Ravine are playing better ball right now.

The Astros continue to suffer devastating injuries, and America’s least favorite team only has a mediocre record to speak of at this point in this season.

As for the Yanks, more than a 1/3 of the way through the campaign, an AL East crown seems like it is there prize to lose.

“It always feels like it’s a premium to win your division, and that’s not any different right now,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said when asked about winning the AL East division a few hours ago.

“It’s certainly a goal, but that’s also getting ahead of ourselves…but I would say there’s always  a premium to that, especially with our team.”

On the bump tonight for the Yanks against the 15-9 Tampa Bay Rays is Gerrit Cole, the hottest pitcher in baseball. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball on Friday to pick up his fourth win in Yankees pinstripes.

Overall, New York’s prized pick up of the offseason has won 20 consecutive regular season decisions; tying the American League record held by former Yankee and Red Sox hurler (and steroid cheat) Roger Clemens.

“Obviously, always excited when it’s Gerrit’s day to go, you always feel good about handing the ball to your ace and hopefully really setting the tone for us, and pitch the way he’s capable off,” Boone said at his presser ahead of what will be a huge game, no doubt.

Make no mistake about it, no team benefited from the long layoff for the COVID shut down than the Yankees. Most players had to practice at home using a pitching machine during the beginning of COVID-19 before they were allowed to practice as a team. They were able to get several of their stars back healthy, and that’s helped them get off to a fast start. However, they’ve been getting it done now despite their big guns getting banged up.

Aaron Judge (calf strain), DJ LeMahieu (sprained thumb) and Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring strain) went on the injured list last week, but NYY keeps on getting Ws. Clint Frazier has been a social media sensation lately, as he went 8-for-15 with three doubles and two home runs in his return to action.

With Judge, there is a possibity he’ll be ready for Saturday, as Boone previously said.

“Still a possibility, yesterday he was able to get out and do some runing, so he’s doing well and on that trajectory,” Boone said today when asked to give an update on #99’s progression.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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