The title of this post is admittedly a mouthful, but to summarize, I wanted to go back to 2006 to see how the Yankees have performed during the last five-and-a-half seasons among a select group of batting splits compared to the league, or sOPS+ (better than 100 means the batter did better than the league and vice versa). Given that we’re looking at the Yankees performances compared to the rest of the league, and that the Yankees have boasted one of the top offenses in baseball during this cross-section, almost every split has the Yankees above league average, which makes this exercise mostly interesting in how this year’s team compares to its previous iterations.
To date, the 2011 Yankees are way outperforming the five previous-year teams in lefthanded batters versus lefthanded pitching, due to Robinson Cano (.411 wOBA vs. lefties) and Curtis Granderson’s (.394 vs. lefties) monster first half. The teams lefthanders are actually collectively faring a bit worse against righthanders (111 sOPS+) than they did last season (117 sOPS+).
The Yankees are on a curious two-year downward trend at home when compared to the league, though they’re playing far better road baseball (121 sOPS+) than they did last season (110 sOPS+).
This is a strange chart. The 2011 Yankees are actually below league average with 2 outs, part of a two-year downward trend. Though, similar to their home/road split, this season’s team has the second-highest sOPS+ with 0 outs of the last six seasons.
This chart reinforces the Yankees’ season-long trend of piling on runs in the first third of their games, but oddly vanishing in the final third — a stark contrast to the way the way the team distributed its scoring in 2009.
The team has really done a remarkable turnaround with regards to hitting junkballers (Finesse pitchers), a subset of pitchers they seemed to have an extraordinary amount of difficulty with last season. Though for whatever reason it appears to have come at the expense of production against power pitchers, which they’ve fallen to a 111 sOPS+ against from 130 last season.
Thus far, the 2011 team has posted a six-year high in sOPS+ against groundball pitchers.
Later this week I’ll take a look at tOPS+, which is probably more of a telling comp for a team like the Yankees, as it compares how the team performed in a given split with regards to its total OPS (i.e., a 90 OPS+ during the 7-9 innings means the team performed 10% worse than usual in those spots).
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