Home field:Yankee Stadium, The Bronx (tickets)
Who they are: The Bronx Bombers; winners of 27 World Series and wearers of classic pinstriped uniforms; the team of Joltin’ Joe, The Mick, The Babe and many more evocatively nicknamed all-time greats.
What’s going on: The Yankees came within a game of reaching the World Series in 2017, something only staunch loyalists (though there are many) might have dreamed of at season’s onset. But a youth movement worked and the stars aligned, notably one 6-foot-7 supernova by the name of Aaron Judge; between leading the league with 52 home runs and living most of the season in a Times Square hotel, the aw-shucks rookie captured headlines and jersey sales. (Star Wars fans, take note: he’ll also become a Jedi bobblehead on May 4.) The reigning NL home run champ, Giancarlo Stanton, joins Judge in the Bronx lineup; slugging catcher Gary Sanchez, who has as much power as either of them, is no typical third lead. Get ready to see a lot of rawhide balls hit very hard and very far.
Stanton’s not the only new kid in town; manager Aaron Boone becomes just the third Yankee skipper in the past 22 years (by comparison, the previous 22 years saw 20 managerial changes). Though Boone’s only experience in pinstripes was 54 games as a player back in 2003, he is responsible for a signature moment—and no, not when he tore his ACL playing basketball in the off-season after his heroics.
Their bullpen is bonkers. Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green and David Robertson were among the best relievers in the game last year, and that’s before you get to the two hardest throwers the Yanks have: Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, who throws over 100mph as if he’s standing by a river skipping stones.
If one area looks uncertain, it’s starting pitching. Luis Severino turned into an ace last year; behind him, Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka are talented but have fought injuries and inconsistency, while wily (and stylish) veteran CC Sabathia managed an unexpected bounce-back in 2017. He’s 37. No matter—expect plenty of exciting days at the ballpark, and for the Yankees to again vie with Boston, Cleveland and Houston for the pennant.
Why you should go: Well, for one thing, they’re the New York Yankees. And they should be good. A trip to the stadium, with the chance to visit Monument Park, is an event. Plus, it’s always fun sitting close—but not too close—to the Bleacher Creatures. And if you’re wearing the right gear, you could always get selected for the Judge’s Chambers—just like Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor.
What to eat: We’ve done a complete rundown on the best places to get food in the stadium. For those who can’t be bothered to click, here are some highlights: Lobel’s is where to go for carved steak sandwiches; Mighty Quinn’s BBQ for brisket and pork; Frank’s Red Hot Terrace for tasty dingers (mini burgers); and the Toyota Terrace for Chinese steamed buns. New this year, and quite good, are the kalua pork nachos from King's Hawaiian. Of course, many would argue that nothing beats a good ol’ Nathan’s hot dog at the ballpark. (Vegetarians would undoubtedly disagree; fortunately, they have options, like Bareburger’s black-bean-based patty and its vegan sausage.)