The New York Yankees are firing on all cylinders as they sit atop the American League East while dominating Major League Baseball. With a 21-8 record, the Yankees have done an outstanding job through the early part of the year. Whether or not they’ll be able to keep this up remains to be seen. However, the Yanks do have a long history of winning and are more than capable of winning at the highest level with this talented roster in place.

New York is on pace to win 114 games this season. The last time the Yankees reached this feat was in 1998 when they wound up winning the World Series. As they aim to stay hot and stick to their winning ways throughout the 2022 MLB season, we’ll take a detailed look at the three reasons behind the Yankees’ scorching-hot start, which continued Tuesday with Aaron Judge’s walk-off dinger.

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Why the Yankees are off to a hot start

1. New York’s pitching has been lights out 

From their starters to the bullpen, the Yankees have had strong performances all throughout their pitching rotation. Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery and Jameson Taillon have all been splendid in the starting rotation, boasting ERAs under 3. Cortes is an early Cy Young candidate with a 1.41 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 32 innings.

In the bullpen, Aroldis Chapman has been dominant as the closer, racking up seven saves and not yet giving up any runs. The bullpen has also been bolstered by a bunch of other stellar performances.

Overall, New York ranks second in MLB with a sterling 2.59 ERA, which sits only behind the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ridiculous 2.14 mark.

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This will be vital to their success moving forward. As they work tirelessly to win their first World Series since 2009, the Yankees will heavily rely on their elite pitching and continue to wreak havoc on the mound with their deep starting rotation and bullpen.

2. The Yankees have the second-best run differential in MLB 

At +50, the Yankees have the second-best run differential in MLB. Again, only the Dodgers are better at +80. The outstanding pitching has played a key role here, but the big bats have also stepped up to the plate.

Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton are doing plenty of big bopping. Judge leads the majors with 10 long balls, while Rizzo is right behind him with nine dingers and Stanton has seven. This is a fearsome trio of power in the middle of New York’s lineup.

However, the contributions don’t stop there. Even DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres — who both struggled mightily in 2021 — have been productive hitters and vastly improved in this area. This success is heavily credited to the help of new hitting coach Dillon Lawson.

3. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is stepping up and proving doubters wrong

During the 2022 MLB offseason, the Yankees had a major void at shortstop. Despite having a glaring need to fill the position, they missed out on big free agents like Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien and Javier Baez. Instead, New York filled the void by trading for Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

At the time, it seemed like a head-scratching move by the organization to only make this move at shortstop. But to the surprise of many, the trade has been worth it so far. With his individual hard work and some guidance and mentorship from all the Yankees coaches, Kiner-Falefa has been a sufficient hitter (hitting .264) while bringing a defensive advantage.