3 Questions To Look At For The New York Yankees In The Second Half Of The Season
Now with the All Star game and an exciting Home Run Derby 0ver, the second half of the MLB season is near. Teams from the American and National league are in the hunt for the number one seed and wild card spots. In the American League East, the New York Yankees have a three and a half game lead. They are in a good spot and will continue to stay on top until the end of the season. But there are three facts to look at for the team to win the division and secure a playoff berth.
1. Can Alex Rodriguez be as consistent as he was in the first half of the season?
It was a shocking surprise of the aging third baseman and designated hitter Alex Rodriguez playing well for the team after a year long suspension. Although he’s not playing third baseman at the moment due to him not moving well at the position, his bat is what gives the Yankees hope in any game. Rodriguez is battling .278, 18 home runs and 51 RBI’s. He has been one of the most consistent players for the Yankees in the first half of the season. There are some games where he went into a slump and looked lost, but got out of it with a single or home run. Now with him being rested from all star break, Rodriguez looks to continue his hitting and help the team make the playoffs. But can he stay consistent and not have father time catch up to him?
2. How effective can the bullpen and pitching staff be?
The Yankees pitchers have been up and down. There are starts where they have control on their pitches and win games with a 1 or 2 lead. But there are games where they give up a lot of runs and the bullpen tries to save them from a loss. The Yankees ERA at 3.96 is ranked 2oth in the league. Their best starting pitcher Michael Pineda has 9 wins and provided good solid starts for the team. However pitchers like C.C. Sabathia, Mashrio Tanaka and Nathan Eovaldi need to step up and give six to seven innings for the bullpen to be effective. The bullpen is one of the best in the league and despite some blown saves, they are still in most games. But can the bullpen and pitching staff stay healthy to put the Yankees in winning situations?
3. What will Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran be in the lineup?
Offensively the Yankees are great in scoring runs. They provided most of their offense from Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Rodriguez and Mark Texiera. Ellsbury and Beltran can balance out the lineup and put pressure off these players. They were injury prone for most of the season. Ellsbury is recovering from a leg injury and Beltran from an abdominal injury. There hitting and power swings can make them dangerous against any opponent. But how will they be in the second half when they can be key pieces to a playoff run?