We're just over a third of the way through the 2010 season. Here are some observations about how this year's team stacks up to last year's team, and in general.
- The Yankees are currently 35-22, two games out of first place. After 57 games last year the team was a game worse, with a 34-23 record. The Yankees lost their next game, leaving them tied with the Red Sox at 34-24 on June 9. (This is another way of saying that the Rays are off to a really good start, because the Yankees haven't even smelled first place yet.)
- The team is on pace to win around 99 games, give or take for rounding. The team's Pythagorean suggests a 37-20 record, which is a 105-win pace. Interestingly, the 2009 team's Pythagorean suggested a 95-67 record.
- The team has a home winning percentage of .731 (19-7) and a road winning percentage of .516 (16-15). Last year's team had a home winning percentage of .704 and a road winning percentage of .568. It may seem like the team is playing better at home and worse on the road this year but really it's small sample bias. If you adjust the home record to 18-8 and the away record to 17-14, the team would be playing to a split of .692 at home and .548 on the road, which is close to 2009's pace.
- The Yankees have played 12 different teams so far this season. Among those teams, nine have winning records. Only the Orioles, the Indians and the White Sox are playing below .500 baseball.
- The Yankees have gone 22-19 (.537) against teams with winning records in 2010, versus 13-3 (.813) against teams with losing records.
- The four best teams the Yankees have faced, in order of their records, are the Rays, the Twins, the Red Sox and the Blue Jays. Against the best of the best the Bombers are 12-10 (not too shabby considering the guys started 0-8 against Boston last season).
- To put things into perspective, of the 18 different teams the Yankees played in 2009, 10 had winning records and eight had losing records. The Yankees went 52-35 against the winning teams (.598) and 51-24 against the losing teams (.680).
- The Yankees schedule is due to adjust a bit, toward the easier side. Last season the Yankees played 87 games against teams with winning records and 75 games against teams with losing records, or 54% of their games against teams with winning records. This year the team has played 41 of its 57 games (72%) against winning teams.
In total, after 1/3 of the season, the 2010 Yankees are a more volatile animal than the 2009 Yankees. They're better at home, worse on the road, and beating the crap out of bad teams. It's too early in the season to know if these trends will last for the rest of the year, but let's hope the record normalizes. The Yankees will be vulnerable if they are only a slightly above .500 team on the road or against their toughest competition.
* Photo source: Getty Images