Since Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo made their debuts with the Yankees on July 30th, the Yankees are 22-4. Balancing out the right handed dominant lineup with some lefties, especially in Yankee Stadium, sure worked out, didn’t it?
Yeah, that’s not it.
The Yankees offensive success has been driven by right handed power. People don’t like to hear this because it doesn’t fit their pre-conceived notions about lineup balance, too much of this, not enough of that, etc. But it’s a reality whether folks want to admit it or not.
Since July 4th the Yankees are 34-11. Over that stretch Brett Gardner has been their best left handed hitter with a wRC+ of 102. (Reminder, wRC+ is set to 100 as league average, so 102 is essentially league average.) I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Judge and Stanton were the Yankees’ best hitters by far over that stretch, but I will anyway – they’ve posted wRC+ of 144 and 136 since July 4th respectively. Gleyber (112) and DJ (101) are the only other Yankees with better than average wRC+ since July 4th (minimum 100 PA).
“What about since the trade deadline when Gallo and Rizzo were added” you ask?
Since July 30th, when both Gallo and Rizzo made their debut, the Yankees are 22-4. Here is the Yankees’ wRC+ leaderboard (minimum 50 PA) since then:
I hate to break it to you lineup balance fans, the bats of Gallo and Rizzo have had nothing to do with the Yankees’ resurgence. (Keyword “bats” as both have made contributions with their gloves.)
The Yankees led MLB in runs per game over 2019-2020 – that’s a 222 game stretch for those of you counting at home. They did that with a lineup full of righty sluggers and next to no contributions from lefty hitters. Over the first half of 2021, due to injuries, underperformance of some key players, and a mind numbingly annoying predisposition of hitting ground balls, the Yankees’ offense struggled.
Now that their right handed sluggers are slugging and driving the ball in the air again, the team is scoring runs and they’re winning. Many people – some amateurs, but some professionals who should know better – will tell you that it’s more complicated than that. It is not.
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