Expectations are just expectations.
Entering the 2021 MLB season, many baseball observers believe the American League East division of the Yankees in New York is losing. Fast forward two months and New York is looking in the standings three teams – Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Race. The composition of the Yankees on paper seemed to be the strength of the team, with questions questioning their rotation.
Instead, the opposite happened. New York is among the teams with the lowest results in the major and had to rely heavily on its starting pitch, behind strong performances of Gerrit Cole, Domingo Herman, Jordan Montgomery and the now injured Corey Kluber. The Yankees embark on Sunday only three games over .500 ̵
Boston, meanwhile, is at the heart of the division’s race, trailing Flight in first place by just one game, something very few people had predicted. Fueled by the rebounding performance of JD Martinez and Rafael Devers, in addition to the delay of Xander Bogaerts, who plays as the best offensive short stop in baseball, Boston’s offense ranks fourth on the big tracks. So far, the rotation has been consolidated by its depth, with Nick Piveta, Gareth Richards and Martin Perez currently providing consecutive trips every timeout.
As they finish their first streak of 2021 with Boston watching a potential three-game swing, here’s how each team got here, what’s real and what’s not, and how the division will continue to look that way.
Write the title in Baseball on Sunday night: 31-28 (.525), fourth place in AL East
How have they surpassed so far: The Yankees’ board was a wild card coming in for the season, with the return in German (3.27 ERA, 1.04 WHIP in 55 passes in 2021) of a one-year suspension for violating Kluber’s domestic violence protocols and off-season acquisitions (3.04 ERA). in 53.1 innings, not to mention the franchise’s first indifference since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999) and Jameson Taillon (5.09 ERA in 53 innings), each of whom hasn’t represented a full season since 2018.
But the Yankees finished second in the American League and sixth in ERA baseball – second only to the Padres, Mets, Dodgers, Giants and White Sox – with Cole (2.26 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 104 shots in 75.2 assists) undisputed. ace and one of the best pitchers in MLB. Injuries – especially Kluber’s loss of potentially two months due to shoulder strain – put employees on much more shaky ground during the summer.
“Our boarding was all we could hope for at the moment. I think the starters were really solid,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “The bun was great and we saw boys show up and create bigger roles for themselves. We look forward to getting boys like [Zack Britton] and [Justin Wilson] and [Darren O’Day] vice versa, but in the meantime some of the boys really got stronger in the bull. Overall, I think the upload was excellent. “
Closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been playing with a 0.41 ERA with 42 strokes in 22 innings this season, continues to anchor a strong bull, one of the team’s constant strengths over the past few seasons. Even with Britton, Wilson and O’Day on the injured list, Boone relies on Jonathan Loaisiga (2.08 ERA, 1.09 WHIP with 30.1 assists) and Chad Green (3.14 ERA, 0.87 WHIP with 28.2 assists) for strong performances.
How they have not achieved so far: Given the number of sloths on the list, the Yankees certainly did not expect to rank among the teams with the lowest score in baseball. The Bronx Bombers are ranked fifth and last in baseball on the tracks marked so far this season, ahead of only the Mets, Pirates, Nationals and Tigers.
Boone said he did not expect the team’s offensive struggles to continue throughout the season.
“The offense, after we start slowly, grows a little bit, and then we fight again, so this is the area where we’re looking for more consistency,” Boone said. “I think I feel like a long distance, it’s going to be an overwhelming force for this team.”
“Do you see the boys on our team? It gives me a lot of confidence,” Boone said when asked what made him make sure the team broke. “Guys who are really talented, really interested in what they do and have experience in it. So far it’s been very good, but it’s all part of the team. It won’t always be easy and hitting in 2021 is probably as hard as it ever was, but I have a lot of faith in those guys that we’re going to really shake it up in the end, and I feel like it’s starting to happen now. “
According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, this sense of calm and lack of panic is what makes Boone the right person to steer the Yankees and help adjust the ship’s course in a market with extreme media and fan attention.
“Bunny never panics,” Cora said. “He was very calm and I know they had their ups and downs. In Boston and New York it can get really tough and he doesn’t deviate from what he is. I think he has done an amazing job in the last few years to stay on course and do your thing, and this is the same person he did on TV.You listen to him in baseball on sunday night and he was very calm and very calm and he was sending the message to the audience and that’s what he does with the Yankees and I’m very proud of that. “
Player to watch closely: DJ LeMahieu set the bar high in his first two seasons with the Yankees, winning two Silver Slugger Awards and two Best MVP Finals. This version of LeMahieu has not appeared so far for New York this season, hitting .259 / .339 / .329 with only three homers and six pairs in 216 bats. This is a steep drop in performance in 2020, when he hit .364 / .421 / .590 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs and joined Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees to lead the big the average watt.
What needs to happen to win the Yankees in the division: Simply put, the crime must live up to its potential. Kluber’s injury illustrates the fragility of the rotation and the team will struggle to find success if Aaron Judge is the only player who constantly produces. The trio of LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres should strengthen on the plate.
The team’s frustration with the violation began to boil in the public.
“It would be nice to take the lead, but that’s the way it is right now,” Tyon said after a recent loss to Reyes. “My job is to go there and put zeros.”
Write the title in Baseball on Sunday night: 35-23 (.603), second place in AL East
How they excel so far: In a rotation with Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox starter, who is currently the team’s best EPA, is – * wipes his glasses * – Perez (3.09), who entered the season as the team’s fifth starter.
This surprising turn of events summarizes the current state of team rotation. Boston continues to rely on the depth of its rotation: Perez, Piveta (3.77) and Richards (3.75) sport better ERA than Eovaldi (3.78) and Rodriguez (5.59).
“We had the feeling that our boarding was stable. We had the feeling that the rotation would give us a chance to be in the ball game all season. There were a lot of questions coming from outside our world,” Cora said. “Right. I understand. But if you actually break it, our rotation, you have Eduardo, who is currently struggling. He has done it before. Nate is tough. Richards up, Piveta up and Martin, a solid big league. We wanted to we enter the season, five or six innings, we expected that from them. “
The team also continues to achieve a solid performance from their bull, with the choice of Rule-5 Garrett Whitlock looking like one of the team’s best acquisitions of the season, with a 1.63 ERA and 29 shots in 27.2 passes in 15 appearances. Other highlights include Matt Barnes, who has a 2.49 ERA and 0.63 WHIP in 25 games, Adam Ottavino, who has a 2.78 ERA in 26 games, and Hirokazu Sawamura, who has a 2.78 ERA in 21 games this season after coming from Nippon. Professional baseball.
How they have not achieved so far:
While Boston boasts one of the best violations of baseball so far this season, ranking fifth on the tracks behind the Dodgers, Astros, Reyes and White Sox, Cora believes the team is not performing at full speed. potential in the plate. Towards the Yankees series, Boston lost three of four to Astros, scoring just four runs in the first three games before placing five points in the final. As of May 21, team leader Martinez knocked on just two tracks, iconic for the team’s recent inability to score.
“We’re expanding too much to the edges of the strike zone,” Cora said. “This is a recipe for disaster at this level [the Astros] series, we chased 38% of the terrain and that’s not good. We need to get back to swinging punches and keeping the lineup moving. We did this earlier in the season and we know we can do it. “
Despite his current RBI drought, Martinez’s rebound – which hits .321 / .389 / .569 with 12 homers after the 2020 season, in which he hit just .213 / .291 / .389 in 54 games – is the main reason Boston was the formidable power of the plate. In addition, Bogaerts continues to be among the best offensive forces in the short stop position, hitting .313 / .371 / .534 with 10 homers and 16 doubles in 55 games, while Devers also continues to impress, leading the team in Homers with 15 while hitting .282 / .351 / .587.
Boone said that despite Boston’s recent offensive struggles, the team’s attention to detail will make it a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.
“I think [Cora has] create a culture in which there is a team that pays really close attention to detail, “Boone said.” He sees the game really well. He is fearless. I think he’s really good at what he does. I think his players certainly reflect that and play with confidence that he sets that tone for them every day. “
Player to watch closely: Rookie Bobby Dalbeck’s first baseball player to hit a home with roulette on Saturday night has been a disappointment so far, hitting .199 / .248 / .384 with six homers in 46 games. Dalbeck made a splash as a potential rookie of the year after impressing in his 23rd game with Boston in 2020 by hitting .263 / .359 / .600 with eight homers.
Dalbeck began to waste time playing assistant Danny Santana and failed to find his rhythm. With the best prospects, Triston Casas, who is also the first person, Dalbeck’s performance for the rest of the season can determine whether he has a role in the organization that is moving forward.
What needs to happen to win the Red Sox Division: Boston needs better performances than Eovaldi – the kind I got at the opening of the series on Friday night – and Rodriguez, their two most established starters. With Richards’ injury history and Piveta and Perez breaking records, the success of Eovaldi and Rodriguez would ease some of the pressure on the back end of the rotation to bring the Red Sox to the playoffs.