MLB Standings ordered by home runs: Yankees in strange company

New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians
New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

Though the New York Yankees have blitzed through the regular season (relatively speaking) in recent years, the fan base has still managed to complain ad nauseam about their reliance on the home run.

Never mind that the home run has proven to be the most effective weapon against upper-level pitching in the postseason. Never mind that it's harder to string hits together than it is to pop a big fly. Nope. Home runs mean strikeouts mean no bunts mean they're Public Enemy No. 1. That's why IKF is so beloved by the Yankees' fan base.

But early in 2023, it seems that one of the Yankees' enemies has blitzed to the forefront of this debate.

Sure, the Yankees are still drilling long balls, recording 16 through their first 10 games and at least one in every game prior to Monday's loss in Cleveland. That's good enough to leave them tied for second in the American League, but ... way behind one of their chief competitors.

MLB standings based off of home runs:

American League:

1. Tampa Bay Rays (30)
2. Baltimore Orioles (18)
2. New York Yankees (18)
4. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (17)
5. Boston Red Sox (16)
6. Toronto Blue Jays (15)
7. Texas Rangers (14)
7. Houston Astros (14)
9. Chicago White Sox (13)
9. Seattle Mariners (13)
11. Kansas City Royals (12)
12. Oakland Athletics (11)
13. Minnesota Twins (10)
14. Detroit Tigers (8)
15. Cleveland Guardians (6)

Yes, those pesky little undefeated Tampa Bay Rays do more than pitch, folks. They also destroy baseballs. Against Tigers, Nationals and A's pitching, Tampa pummeled a world-class number of longballs. Then, with their undefeated record under the microscope on Monday night against the Red Sox, they used a Brandon Lowe solo shot to win a 1-0 squeaker. Two more wins over the Sox later, and they're still streaking.

Again, that's what dingers do. They allow you to win games you appear destined to lose in a flash.

Lagging just behind the Yankees are the Angels and Red Sox, and coming up last are the pesky-as-hell Cleveland Guardians, who are among the class of the American League. That's what makes baseball beautiful.

Just for fun, let's examine the National League, too, where a similar pattern of divisional dinger supremacy is emerging.

National League:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (24)
2. San Francisco Giants (21)
3. San Diego Padres (17)
4. Atlanta Braves (16)
4. St. Louis Cardinals (16)
6. Milwaukee Brewers (15)
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (15)
6. Miami Marlins (15)
9. Colorado Rockies (14)
10. Cincinnati Reds (12)
10. New York Mets (12)
12. Philadelphia Phillies (11)
12. Arizona Diamondbacks (11)
14. Chicago Cubs (10)
15. Washington Nationals (5)

NL East, what happened?

If we're headed for an NL West Winner vs. AL East Winner World Series, it'll turn out the home run numbers were telling the truth all along.