2019 MLB Power Rankings: Postseason Edition

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates after throwing a no hitter at the end of the ninth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates after throwing a no hitter at the end of the ninth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

MLB Power Rankings: Postseason Edition

2. New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are on a quest to claim their 28th World Series title in 2019. Despite winning 100 games in 2018, the Yankees claimed a Wild Card spot and got dominated by their rival and eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox. With a powerful roster, the Yankees made sure they wouldn’t get embarrassed again.

In the offseason, GM Brian Cashman somewhat quietly improved his already strong roster. After making an early splash to land lefty starting pitcher James Paxton, Cashman made smart moves that avoided the headlines dominated by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. He re-signed veterans Brett Gardner, C.C. Sabathia, Zack Britton, and J.A. Happ to team-friendly deals, while also adding All-Star reliever Adam Ottavino.

However, no offseason acquisition was more impactful than D.J. LeMahieu. For some unknown reason, LeMahieu flew under the radar in the offseason. The three-time All-Star and Gold Glove second baseman has been the Yankees’ most valuable player all year long. Entering this week, LeMahieu has hit .328/.376/.520 with 26 home runs, 99 RBIs, and 6.0 WAR. He has been the most consistent and versatile Yankee, making him invaluable at the top of their lineup.

The rest of the Yankees’ lineup is pretty good, too. Lead by sluggers like Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees,  have shattered the MLB single-season home run record. They currently lead Twins 298-297, who are also chasing the all-time record. However, it hasn’t been the power that has elevated the Yankees to this level. It’s been their depth.

The Yankees have dealt with an obscene amount of injuries this year. Over 30 players have gone to the injured list, which is another single-season record. However, the next men up have stepped up. Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, Cameron Maybin, and Austin Romine have all produced in the face of injuries.

However, no one embodies their “next man up” mentality quite like Gio Urshela. Urshela, who has journeyed through the MLB unable to find his footing, has been a revelation for the Yankees this year. After Miguel Andujar went down with a shoulder injury, Urshela had his opportunity to contribute. Subsequently, Urshela became one of the Yankees’ most important players. Along with elite defense at third base, Urshela has hit .315/.356/.532 with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs. He has come through when they needed him the most, and that makes him an X-factor in October.

The Yankees’ powerful lineup is complemented by a powerful bullpen. Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, Chad Greene, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman give their bullpen more elite depth than any other team in the league. If the Yankees can get quality starts out of their starting pitchers, they will be hard to beat in the postseason.

That is a big if, however. It is no secret that the Yankees starting pitching is their biggest weak spot. J.A. Happ has been awful all year, Masahiro Tanaka has been decent but inconsistent, and Domingo Germán was placed on administrative leave for domestic violence. However, James Paxton has been a bright spot in the rotation down the stretch. After struggling to start the season, Paxton has become the dominant pitcher the Yankees traded for in the offseason. In 24.2 innings pitched in September, Paxton has an incredible 0.36 ERA.

Oh, and Luis Severino is back, too. If he continues to look as good as he has through two starts, the Yankees will be a hard to team to beat.