Memorial Day has passed and we've gotten a gauge of what the baseball landscape looks like. On the surface, it appears that one team is taking baseball by storm with dominant pitching and a red-hot slugger. Here are some takeaways from the first two months of the baseball season.
The Empire Strikes Back: The best record in baseball belongs to... the New York Yankees. That's right, the Evil Empire is back (sorry, Patriots). Bringing back the glory days of George Steinbrenner and his stacked payrolls, the rotation has been excellent. Led by Nestor Cortes and his mustache (1.50 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 4.9 K/BB), the Yanks lead MLB in team ERA (2.73). On top of that, Aaron Judge is earning his big payday. The outfielder leads the majors in home runs (21) and has sparked the Bronx Bombers to the best record in baseball. Will this lead to a 28th World Series ring? Stay tuned?
Fallen Angels: After starting off so well, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have lost 10 straight. This is in spite of having Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout back at the same time. It seems like pitching is the culprit again, failing the Halos when they need it most. Noah Syndergaard has fallen off a cliff, becoming irrelevant once again. To make matters worse, outfielder Taylor Ward has been put on the IL with a hamstring strain. What needs to change at the Big A? Does ownership need to make an immediate shake-up?
Return of the Mets: The Yankees aren't the only New York team dominating. Take a look at the squad in Queens, which holds a commanding 8.5-game lead in the NL East. This is in the face of excruciating injuries to Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer. One Met to watch for is Pete Alonso, who's making a strong case for NL MVP. The big first baseman is hitting 16 home runs and 53 RBIs so far. He's even adding a slugging percentage of .556, an OPS of .918, and an OBP of .363. Watch out for the Amazin's to make noise if the Yankees fall short this season. Or could we get the redux of the Subway Series?