How the Yankees' lineup stacks up among the American League's elite

At full health, the Bombers' power may take the offense to a new level
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton look ready to bash in 2019. (AP)

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton look ready to bash for the rest of 2019. (AP)
For the first time this season, the Yankees are approaching full health, which means home runs are coming to the Bronx in droves.
With Edwin Encarnación and Giancarlo Stanton added to the lineup and Aaron Judge on his way, the Yankees' lineup stacks up favorably with the rest of the American League.
Nearly halfway through the season, the Bombers have had a more-than-respectable offense for 73 games mostly without that trio. Their 117 home runs and .450 slugging percentage are fourth in the American League behind the Twins, Mariners and Astros. They're comfortably above average at fifth in OBP and wRC+.
Yet Encarnación was a big reason why the Mariners rank highly in a number of power categories, and now his big bat is in the Bronx. Meanwhile, the Yankees received just 23 combined games from Judge and Stanton in March and April.
While the Yankees' fill-in players performed admirably, New York will add three bona fide All-Star sluggers over a week-long period, a boost essentially from within. The team sports light-tower power from top to bottom with good on-base skills to boot. They now closely resemble the roster that set the single-season home run record a year ago.

So how do the Bombers now compare with their fellow AL contenders? Right now, the four main challengers for the AL crown along with New York appear to be the Twins, Astros, Rays and Red Sox.
Minnesota has taken baseball's power craze to a whole new level. Their 137 home runs, fueled by Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler, lead baseball as the Twins are on pace to top the Yankees' record from a year ago. The question becomes whether Minnesota can sustain this level, particularly in the postseason when the opponents are no longer AL Central cupcakes.
Meanwhile, the Astros' status as world-beaters is unsurprising, even though they've weathered injuries to Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer, the latter who was an early AL MVP candidate. Alex Bregman has sustained his 2018 breakout while Michael Brantley, Robinson Chirinos and Yordan Alvarez give Houston depth that is only comparable to the Yankees in the AL. Houston's added advantage is a lack of strikeouts.
In the AL East, the Rays and Red Sox each may lack the depth to compare with the Yankees, though Boston has the high-end offensive talent. Mookie Betts is merely hitting at an All-Star level this year rather than his 2018 MVP performance, but Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have stepped up in his stead. Tampa Bay rides a young core led by Austin Meadows, but its lineup has easier outs than the competition, as shown by their struggles against Yankees pitching this season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, could have 20 home-run power in spots two-through-nine in the lineup, and that's with All-Star candidate DJ LeMahieu leading off. Brett Gardner, who already has 11 home runs, would be the fourth outfielder. There's some concern that the offense may be too right-handed heavy, but their righties have shown an ability to hit same-sided pitching to lessen that worry.
Moreoever, the Bombers have tempered their potential strikeout woes with the high-contact LeMahieu joining Didi Gregorius and Gio Urshela this season, though Urshela is now expected to take on more of a bench role. The offense moving forward should be defined by power and patience, the latter exemplified by Encarnación's approach.
Alhough the Twins and Astros have had better seasons at the dish thus far, the Yankees at full health challenge those rosters -- and no club may be able to match the power potential of New York at full heath. The league's home run-heavy environment could make for high-scoring affairs this postseason, but for now, the Yankees look more than capable of bashing their way into October.