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Archive for June 10th, 2011

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

Aside from the uncomfortable sight of seeing the Yankees listed beneath the Red Sox, the most dissatisfying part of the standings is the team’s 15-20 record against opponents currently above .500. Although there are still well over 100 games to play, could the Yankees’ relative struggles against winning teams be a bad omen for the rest of the season?

Yankees’ 2011 Record Against Above-.500 Competition

vs. W L RS RA Opp W%
BOS 1 8 37 60 0.581
DET 3 4 33 36 0.548
SEA 1 2 14 10 0.508
TBR 1 1 11 8 0.532
TEX 4 2 35 25 0.547
TOR 5 3 39 33 0.508
Total 15 20 169 172 0.537

Note: Based on current record of opponents, not at time games were played.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

It’s worth noting that the Yankees’ poor record against better opponents is largely attributable to the one-sided season series with Boston. Nonetheless, the team’s current winning percentage of .429 against this segment would rank among the lower quartile in franchise history. There’s still plenty of time to improve upon that mark, but if the trend continues, the Yankees might be making alternative plans when the calendar turns to autumn. 

Surprisingly, over their 111 season history, the Yankees have a losing record against winning teams. However, a large portion of the franchise’s struggles against better opponents occurred prior to the acquisition of Babe Ruth. Since the Babe first donned pinstripes, the Yankees have a much more respectable .522 winning percentage against the league’s stiffer competition.

Yankees’ Winning Percentage Against Above-.500 Competition, 1901-Present (click to enlarge)

Note: Maroon plot points represent World Series championship seasons.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

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