Count former Yankees manager Joe Girardi as one of the team's many believers.
Girardi led the Yankees to game seven of the ALCS last season but the team decided to go in a different direction after Girardi's ten years in the dugout. This season, behind new manager Aaron Boone, Girardi believes the Yankees are the team to beat.
"When I look at them this year, I think they're the team to beat. I really do," Girardi told Mike Francesa. "And I'm not saying that because they won 17 of 18. But everyone talks about how good their bullpen is, and how great the offense is... The starting rotation was number two in the American League last year. The starting rotation this year is number two, and I think those guys are probably not talked about enough. And I think they've gotten better..."
The Yankees' rotation has taken another step forward this season. Luis Severino has picked up right where he left off last year when he finished third in Cy Young voting. This season, he is 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 53 innings with 63 strikeouts.
Behind Severino, the Yankees are getting a vintage campaign out of CC Sabathia. The lefty is 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA over 32 innings and 23 strikeouts.
"I've always said if you have one guy, one game to win, CC is the guy you want on the mound because he's going to figure it out," Girardi said.
Sabathia and the Yankees currently have the league's best record after their recent surge of 17 wins in 18 games.