Starting rotation? Power at the plate? Every current MLB playoff contender’s biggest strength

  • Covers MLB for ESPN.com
  • Former deputy editor of Page 2
  • Been with ESPN.com since 1995

More than two months into the 2022 MLB season, there are a handful of teams that have clearly set themselves apart from the rest of the league — and some of them have done so by doing one thing really well.

The Yankees — who lead the majors with a 44-16 record, giving them a commanding lead in the best division in baseball — are a prime example.

Take this past weekend: They beat the Cubs in three games by a combined score of 25-8, including an 18-4 rout on Sunday. The previous day, it was an 8-0 win, and perhaps the quintessential example of their blazing start. Aaron Judge hit two home runs, Giancarlo Stanton hit a 119.8 mph laser straight out of a Bond movie for the hardest-hit ball in the majors this season and Gleyber Torres, Jose Trevino and Anthony Rizzo all added to the six-homer barrage.

“I’m a sucker for a good rally — doubles in the gaps, runners in scoring position,” Judge said after the game. “But six solo shots. … That’s pretty nice, too.”

The Yankees have a league-leading 98 home runs, 14 more than the second-place Braves. They’re also tied for the fewest home runs allowed in the majors at 48 with the Braves and Giants. That’s a pretty good formula to success.

New York is rolling as we head toward the start of the summer, but so are a number of other squads. Let’s dig into some numbers to see what each of the contending teams over .500 is doing best right now.

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