By: Billy Lewis
The Major League Baseball second half is getting set to begin this weekend. The All-Star festivities in Cleveland allowed baseball to shine bright for the midsummer classic. Vlad Guerrero Jr and Joc Pederson put on a great show in the Home Run Derby before Pete Alonso eventually won it.
The All-Star Game also turned out to be a great game as well. The American League edged out the National League 4-3 and Yankees were involved in the decisions. Masahiro Tanaka was the winning pitcher, while Aroldis Chapman got the save.
The Yankees had a wildly successful first half. Despite losing what felt like the entire team to the Injured List, the Yankees are sitting in first place. Aaron Boone has done a great job (along with the analytic team) maximizing the talent the Yankees have had. They ended the first half with the best record in the American League.
The Yankees will begin the second half hosting the Toronto Blue Jays. It’ll be the Yankees first time playing in the Bronx since June 26th. Since then the Yankees have traveled to London, Queens, and Tampa Bay.
Now they’ll get to sit at home as they begin a ten-game homestand. After the Blue Jays, they’ll welcome in the Rays for another four-game series. The Bombers split a four-game set with the Rays right before the All-Star Break and sit 6.5 games ahead of the Rays in the AL East. Colorado will be visiting the Bronx for the final series in the homestand.
This season there will be one Trade Deadline, July 31st. In season’s past, the 31st would be the “non-waiver” trade deadline and August 31st would be the last day to make trades. With one trade deadline, the moves can come fast and furious.
Of course, the Yankees are still waiting for Luis Severino and Dellin Betances to throw a pitch in 2019. As they get closer to returning, you’ll hear the narrative that getting those two back will be like making a big trade.
Until Severino and Betances are ready to begin a rehab assignment, I wouldn’t count on them returning this season. Even if they do come back, it could take a few weeks to hit their groove and be the pitchers fans expect.
Brian Cashman and company will surely be looking to make trades to strengthen their pitching staff. Many are expecting one of Madison Bumgarner, Trevor Bauer, or Marcus Stroman. My guess would be the Cashman looks to bring in a middle-tier starter whom they feel has untapped upside.
One thing is certain, the Yankees thrived in the first half despite all their injuries. They set themselves up to have a big second half and will look to claim their 28th championship come October.