The second half of the season is when the best baseball players and teams separate themselves from the pack. The New York Yankees have a couple of players on their roster who take this to an extreme level almost yearly.
Every year, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira are among the best players in baseball in the summer and fall months. The Yankees will need them both to step up even bigger this year, because Alex Rodriguez will be out up to a month with a knee injury, which will require surgery.
While the starting rotation was a question mark coming into the year, nearly every starter has been a pleasant surprise. They'll need to keep it up if the starting pitching market is as thin as it seems to be in trade season.
The bullpen has been ravaged by injuries, but the ever-consistent Mariano Rivera and the upstart David Robertson have anchored a solid unit. The only concern left there is a matchup lefty in case Boone Logan can't get the job done.
The Yankees are right where we expected them to be at the All-Star break, fighting for first place. If they want to get back to the World Series, they'll need an even stronger second half.