The Yankees still sit atop the AL East and own the second best overall record in the league, but they’ve scuffled to a 20-19 record in the second half and a 14-18 record since heading out to Oakland a few weeks ago. They did win seven of nine about a week ago but have since lost five of seven. No team plays roughly .500-ball for more than a month by alternating wins and losses, there’s a few hot and cold streaks mixed in there.
On a macro level, the club’s performance on the road is responsible for their second half slide. The Yankees have won just six of 17 games away from Yankee Stadium since the All-Star break, including that four-game sweep at the hand of the Athletics and this week’s three-game sweep in Chicago. At home, they’re 14-8 in the second half. Here’s a real quick breakdown of the team’s basic home/road splits…
|Home Record||Home RS/G||Home RA/G||Road Record||Road RS/G||Road RA/G|
|First Half||25-16 (.610)||4.6||4.0||27-17 (.614)||5.0||4.2|
|Second Half||14-8 (.636)||5.4||3.8||6-11 (.353)||4.5||4.6|
The Yankees have only been outscored by three total runs on the road in the second half (76 to 79), which tends to happen when six of the eleven losses were by one run. The club is scoring roughly half-a-run fewer run per game on average away from the Bronx though, and their overall road batting line sits at .263/.320/.411 since the All-Star break. It was .263/.340/.453 in the first half. With a .263/.334/.441 overall road line on the season (108 wRC+), the Yankees have been the second best hitting team in baseball away from their home park this year (Angels, 113 wRC+).
Given the small sample, I think the second half drop in OBP and power production is tied directly to the four games in the pitcher friendly Coliseum in Oakland (ten total runs in the four games) as well as Curtis Granderson’s mega-slump. He’s typically a major source of on-base skills and especially power. Robinson Cano’s smaller and more recent slump factors in as well, plus the Raul Ibanez-Andruw Jones platoon hasn’t done much since the break either. The increase in runs allowed per game (also roughly half-a-run) has an awful lot to do with Phil Hughes throwing duds in Detroit and Toronto as well as the sketchy middle relief.
Twenty of the club’s final 38 games are on the road, including the upcoming three-game series in Cleveland. After that it’s nothing but AL East parks and a quick three games in Target Field. The Yankees haven’t forgotten to play on the road or anything, they’ve just lost an inordinate number of close games away from the Bronx since the All-Star break. I don’t think these road struggles are a big concern going forward, but those losses are already in the bank and they do count in the standings. Taking care of business against the Indians would be a real good (and necessary!) step twards fixing these second half road issues.