Justin Verlander
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Houston’s Justin Verlander isn’t buying the claim that the New York Yankees are the American League’s best. 

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is no stranger to making waves in New York, and he did just that on MLB Network, saying that “there’s no way you can’t think that the Yankees are the team to beat in the American League.”

Houston’s Justin Verlander wasn’t buying what Russo was selling.

Ha! This is the kind of thing Yankees fans have been begging for this offseason. Justin Verlander just made the biggest mistake of his professional career.  He climbed up on a branch that was just a little bit too skinny. He swam out just a little too far on the lake. He went out of his way to put the Yankees on notice.

Don’t wake the snake, man! Let sleeping dogs lie. You just called out a team that took you to a Game 7 in the ALCS and then went out and added the reigning National League MVP. There was absolutely no benefit to letting the whole world know you think your team will be better than the Yanks.

Houston might be the defending World Champions, but that doesn’t automatically make them the best team in the American League, much less in baseball. The Yankees not only added an MVP to their already stacked lineup but have a bullpen full of fear-inducing studs, ready to back up a starting rotation that looks poised to perform better than it did in 2017.

This tweet will come back full force when Murderer’s Row 2.0 is taking Verlander to the tracks at Minute Maid Park. He just called out the first lineup to earn the “Murders Row” nickname since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were crushing the opposition. That’s not a good idea.

The only explanation I can think of is that Verlander is overcompensating for his lack of confidence. Everybody knows the best way to let people know you’re not worried is to use the internet to unnecessarily reassure fans.  Just like the best way to let everyone know how great you are is to only ever talk about the great things that you’ve done. Everybody likes hanging out with “that guy”.

While the Astros are brainstorming ways to break the (admittedly well-deserved) championship hangover, the New York Yankees will be steadily on their way to a 100-win season and a 28th ring.

See you in the ALCS Justin. Don’t expect to see a seventh game this time around.

Lifetime ballplayer and Yankee fan. Strongly believe that the eye-test and advanced stats can be used together instead of against each other.