Cody Bellinger
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Video: Cody Bellinger clubs home run no. 42

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It’s been a tight race at the top of the home run leaderboards lately, with the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, Brewers’ Christian Yelich, and Angels’ Mike Trout entering Sunday’s games tied at 41 apiece. At least temporarily, however, Bellinger got the edge during the first inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Braves, belting a 415-foot three-run shot out to center field for his 42nd of the year.

Well, it was slightly more complicated than that: After picking up an 85.1-m.p.h. slider from Atlanta left-hander Max Fried, Bellinger returned the ball to the center field fence, where it slid in and out of Ronald Acuña Jr.’s glove before dropping over the fence for a home run.

Any way you slice it, it’s been a banner year for the two-time All-Star, who has reached career-high marks with a .318/.416/.673 batting line, 69 extra-base hits, a 1.089 OPS, and 6.7 fWAR over 517 plate appearances. Per MLB Stats, he’s also the youngest player to reach 42 home runs in a season since Nolan Arenado (24) and Bryce Harper (22) did it in for the 2015 Rockies and Nationals, respectively.

Still, there’s no doubt he’ll have a difficult time retaining his first-place status in the near future, as both Yelich and Trout are having monster seasons of their own. With his 41st blast on Saturday, Yelich is the first player to rack up at least 40 homers and 20 stolen bases since 2012, while Trout leads all major-league players with a staggering 8.2 fWAR — marking his seventh season with 8.0+ fWAR to date.

New York Yankees roster and schedule for 2020

Yankees roster and schedule
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The 2020 season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The New York Yankees roster and schedule:

YANKEES ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Yankees roster to begin the season:

Catchers

Gary Sánchez
Kyle Higashioka

Infielders:

Luke Voit
Mike Ford
DJ LeMahieu
Gio Urshela
Miguel Andújar
Gleyber Torres
Tyler Wade

Outfielders

Aaron Judge
Aaron Hicks
Giancarlo Stanton
Brett Gardner
Mike Tauchman

Starters

Gerrit Cole
Masahiro Tanaka
James Paxton
J.A. Happ
Jordan Montgomery
Jonathan Loaisiga

Relievers

Aroldis Chapman
Zack Britton
Adam Ottavino
Chad Green
Tommy Kahnle
Luis Cessa
Jonathan Holder
Tyler Lyons
David Hale


BREAKDOWN:

It’s weird to say this but the delay to the season due to the pandemic actually helped the Yankees a fair amount. Because of new injuries and extended rehab from older injuries, the very injured 2019 New York Yankees were poised to begin the regular season with many key players on the injured list, including Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and James Paxton, among others. It’s not 100% clear if all of those guys will be back and at full strength when the club starts play next week, but Stanton and Paxton seem like a go right now and Judge and Hicks are ramping up.

Obviously the biggest change for 2020, though, is Gerrit Cole, the Yankees big free agent acquisition last winter. Adding arguably the game’s best starter will take a lot of pressure off of the other guys in the rotation and ease the workload of a bullpen that, however deep and talented it is, could still use a break here and there.

With health, hopefully, not the concern it was back in March or last year, we’re left with a Yankees team that (a) has one of the most loaded lineups in the game; (b) features a much-improved rotation with a clear and solid top-four; and (c) has fantastic bullpen talent and depth. Last year’s team, despite all of the injuries, won 103 games. This year’s team is considered the favorite in the American League and, by extension, in all of baseball.

YANKEES SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Yankees home stands will be July 29-Aug. 2 (Phillies, Red Sox), Aug. 11-20 (Braves, Red Sox, Rays), Aug. 28-Sept. 2 (Mets, Rays), Sept. 10-17 (Orioles, Blue Jays) and Sept. 25-27 (Marlins). Their rivalry games against the Red Sox will be July 31-Aug. 2 (Yankee Stadium), Aug. 14-17 (Yankee Stadium) and Sept. 18-20 (Fenway Park). Rivalry games against the Mets will be played Aug. 21-23 (Citi Field) and Aug. 28-30 (Yankee Stadium).

The entire Yankees roster and schedule can be seen here.