First Pitch: Are the Yanks the best?

July, 12, 2012
7/12/12
7:00
AM ET
In the latest ESPN.com Power Rankings, the Yankees are No. 1. SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield writes:

They own the best record in the AL even though they're just fourth in the league in both runs scored and runs allowed. Robinson Cano had one homer through 27 games, but he's hit 19 in 58 games since. Derek Jeter was hitting .397 through 28 games but he's hit .264/.310/.318 since.


To me, the Yankees are built for the regular season. I don't see how they lose the AL East. I know, I know, the Red Sox had that awful collapse last September, so I suppose anything is possible. And the Yankees do face Boston 12 more times, so the Red Sox could do their own damage.

Still, Boston is 9½ games back. They would have to beat that Yankees at least nine of 12 times, and then play four games better in the other 65 or so games. Meanwhile, the Orioles are about to fade. The Rays don't have enough offense to really take off and catch the Yankees. The Blue Jays will have 15 head-to-head matchups with the Yanks, but they are still not good enough.

Most of all, I think the Yankees are going to get better. They are fourth in runs scored and allowed. By the end of September, I believe they will be even better in both of those categories.

UP NOW: Wallace Matthews' grades and my grades of the grades.

ON DECK: I will go through the issues of the second half. Plus, Bombers Beat!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will the Yankees be the best team in baseball come October?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.289 8 47 47
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 61
OPSB. Gardner .787
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135