Yankees: There’s no place like home in 2020 for Bronx Bombers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 02: Aaron Judge #99, Aaron Hicks #31 and Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees celebrate their 9-7 victory over Boston Red Sox of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 02, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 02: Aaron Judge #99, Aaron Hicks #31 and Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees celebrate their 9-7 victory over Boston Red Sox of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 02, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

No fans, no problem. The Yankees have continued their winning ways in the Bronx in 2020.

The New York Yankees have thrived within the confines of their home ballpark over the last three seasons. While opposing franchises fear Yankee Stadium, the Bronx has been a reassuring ally for those in Pinstripes.

Despite the consistency of the Yankees’ play at home, the lack of fan presence at the Bronx Zoo raised some concerns regarding the prominence of home-field advantage in 2020.

The Yankees have silenced the doubters so far, winning their first 10 home games, outscoring their opponents 71-35 over that span.

The Yankees have a predominantly right-handed lineup in a ballpark that features a short porch in right field, a recipe that does not seem ideal for success. Yet New York’s right-handed bats continue to mash to all fields, and their dominance at home as carried over into the pandemic shortened campaign.

Yankees at home vs. on the road

Success in the Bronx is nothing new for Aaron Boone’s club, as since he took over as manager in 2018, the Yankees have consistently outmatched their opponents there. They possess a 120-52 record over the past three seasons at home, beating up on the majority of teams who enter Yankee Stadium. In comparison, the Yankees are just 99-75 away from the Bronx over the past three seasons.

Their prosperity at home is the main reason they have been able to reach the 100-win mark in two of Boone’s three years as manager.

Although the Yankees offense has the ability to crush the baseball in any ballpark, they have had a higher average, home run total, and OPS at home than on the road in two of the past three seasons. The biggest difference comes on the mound, especially over the last two seasons.

In 2019, the Bombers had a 3.62 ERA at home and a 5.01 ERA on the road, and so far in 2020, that pattern has held true, with a 3.71 ERA at home and a 4.36 ERA as the visitors. New York’s staff has also held their opponents’ OPS down while at Yankee Stadium in comparison to being on the road.

New York Yankees
Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees in action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium on August 03, 2020, in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Phillies 6-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The A.L. East has been victimized by the Yankees in the Bronx, starting with their archrivals in the Boston Red Sox.

New York owns a 21-4 record against Boston at Yankee Stadium since 2018, an incredible display of dominance against the Red Sox.

Other A.L. East teams haven’t fared any better against the Bombers in the Bronx, either.

The Tampa Bay Rays are 6-14 in New York since 2018 (following their win on Tuesday), the Baltimore Orioles are a mediocre 7-11, and the Toronto Blue Jays are 5-14. Yankee Stadium has been a house of horrors for every team that steps onto the field, but these four franchises who are forced to play there the most are particularly haunted by the Yankees ballpark.

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The Bronx will be pivotal come postseason for the Yankees.

Home has also been the Yankees’ undoing in the past two seasons, losing the two matchups at home when eliminated by the Red Sox in 2018, and losing two out of three to the Houston Astros last season in the ALCS.

With the expanded 2020 postseason in MLB due to the shortened campaign, having home-field advantage becomes even more of a priority. The first round of these unique playoffs will feature a best-of-three format, with all three games being played at the higher seed’s home stadium — unless a bubble is formed at the buzzer.

The Yankees, and any other team for that matter, would prefer to avoid traveling and being forced to abide by the tight-knit protocols for as long as possible. It would be a luxury for the Yankees to finish as high as possible in the standings, and have the road to the World Series in the American League run through the Bronx, a luxury New York may need to have in order to win it all.

New York Yankees
DJ LeMahieu #26 and Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrate against the Houston Astros in game five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2019, in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Despite being 10-1 at home in 2020, the Bombers are just .500 on the road with a record of 6-6. It is evident that this group feels significantly more comfortable at home, and having the majority of the games in a series at Yankee Stadium would boost morale come playoff time.

The New York Yankees are a force to be reckoned with in 2020, and if they are able to continue their dominance at Yankee Stadium, this may be the year that the Commissioner’s Trophy returns to the Bronx.