mike francesa march madness
Peter Ackerman | Asbury Park Press

The Yankees don’t get a medal for trying this year. Not after this start.

“If they don’t get to a World Series this year, it will be a devastating blow,” Mike Francesa said on his latest BetRivers podcast.

“They have, with this performance, pushed all their cards into the middle of the table. They have to get to the World Series this year. If they don’t, when are they going to get there?”

The Bronx Bombers are 44-16 entering Tuesday. They have the best record in baseball by six games in the loss column (the Mets have the second-best at 40-22). The Yankees also have an eight-game lead on the Blue Jays for the American League East lead. They are flying to the postseason “on a magic carpet ride,” as Francesa put it.

“They are playing .700-plus baseball. They are dominating. They hit two homers for every homer they give up. Their run differential is getting astronomical,” the WFAN legend said. “They are, by a large margin in performance, the best team in baseball. But it doesn’t matter if they don’t get to, and win, the World Series. So what do they have to do to do that?”

The Yankees’ focus the rest of the way must be on changes that will give them a better chance in October, Francesa said. The big guy didn’t go into details, but he has dropped hints in the past. Dumping Joey Gallo is definitely high on his list, and they clearly need outfield help.

General manager Brian Cashman could also look to add to the bullpen, and potentially upgrade at catcher as well. It helps the Yankees they are about to get an in-season stress test. Their next 13 games all come against the Astros, Blue Jays and Rays. That may expose some deficiencies that must be addressed.

“There’s only one question,” Francesa said. “‘Are we built to get to the World Series?’”

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.