While the 2019 and 2018 New York Yankees are similar in many different ways, what are key aspects that make them different from each other?
Through 51 games this season the Yankees are 34-17. This record is quite amazing given the number of stars this team is missing. To put it into perspective, through 51 games last season the Yankees were 33-18 without any injuries. While the records are almost the same, this years team is better in many places. Here is a breakdown of what makes this team different from last years team.
Constantly Hitting With Runners In Scoring Position
A common theme with the 2018 Yankees was they struggled with hitting with runners in scoring position. In RISP opportunities last year, the team slashed .253/.342/.442 which was good for 12th in the league. That team was highly dependent on the home run, it was home run or bust in most cases last year. This year it is the exact opposite, the team is now hitting with RISP and it is a thing of beauty. Through 51 games this season the team is slashing .275/.358/.442 which is good for third in the entire league. It seems that every time we have a scoring opportunity we are getting that hit. This team seems to be using the entire field to hit.
Also, last year the Yankees were god awful with hitting with the bases loaded. In 2018 the team slashed .253/.292/.440, with the bases loaded, which was good for 20th in the league. This year the Yankees have slashed .350/.415/.550, with the bases loaded, which is good for third. What helped the Redsox win it all last year was they hit with RISP and the Yankees are doing just that this year.
Better Overall Pitching
While last years team had a good rotation, it wasn’t in the great category as Sevy pretty much forgot how to pitch in the second half of the season. Last year, the team’s overall ERA for starters was 4.05, not the greatest. This year is much better, our staff’s overall ERA is 3.61. What hurt the Yankees the most in the postseason last year was our starting pitching and this year it seems to be one of its strengths and it is not even fully healthy yet.
Also, the bullpen has looked lights out since its rough start in the first two weeks of the season. The Yankees big four bullpen arms of Kahnle (1.71 ERA), Ottavino (1.48 ERA), Britton (2.31 ERA) and Chapman (1.74 ERA) have all been lights out for the Yankees. Almost every time the Yankees have had a lead after 6 innings, they’ve won the game. Overall, the starting pitching is keeping the game close and the bullpen is shutting the door.
If the Yankees keep playing this kind of baseball, then we might be holding number 28 at the end of the season.