The Yankees are 30 games over .500 at home this season, but their record on the road isn’t quite as impressive. They’ve hardly struggled, but their 43-27 record away from Yankee Stadium makes it a priority for the Bombers to have home field advantage in the 2019 playoffs. Regardless of the Yankees’ regular season standings, they’re going to have to play games on the road under the spotlight of October. So who can the Yankees look upon to carry the offense away from the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium?
Torres has been terrific on the road for the Yankees this season, with one caveat. Torres is slashing .290/.364/.540 on the road this season, but those numbers drop to .273/.341/.443 when you remove his games against the Orioles at Camden Yards. While it’s not fair to simply discount his dismantling of the Orioles, you can take his great road numbers with a little grain of salt.
For the second straight season, Voit has been better on the road than he has been at Yankee Stadium. In 41 away games this season, Voit has blasted 12 home runs, trailing only Oriole-killers Torres and Gary Sanchez. Voit owns a decent 107 wRC+ at home for the Yankees, but a stellar 163 wRC+ on the road. Interestingly, Voit has been much less prone to the strikeout when he’s on the road. His 23.1 K% in road games is a dramatic improvement from his 32.0% at home, so the Yankees’ first baseman seems to just see the ball better on the road this season.
Much is made of the Yankee shortstop’s ability to utilize the short porch for power production, but he’s actually been a much better hitter on the road in 2019. In fact, since joining the Yankees in 2015, Gregorius has been a better hitter away from the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Since 2015, Gregorius owns a 97 wRC+ at home and a 108 wRC+ on the road. His success on the road is much more dramatic than normal this season. He has an .894 OPS on the road and a concerning .602 OPS at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be hoping Gregorius can pick it up at home, but they’ll be thrilled to get the same level of production from him on the road come playoff time.
What more can be said about D.J. LeMahieu this season? There are few lists the Yankees’ utility man can be left off at this point, and this is not one of them. Unlike the three players above, LeMahieu has been better at home than he’s been on the road, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been great away from Yankee Stadium as well. It’s hard to match his home slash line of .336/.390/.574, but LeMahieu’s slash line on the road is a very respectable .325/.366/.486, good for a 125 wRC+. If the Yankees can get that level of offensive production on the road from a player capable of manning three infield spots, they’ll be in pretty good shape.
Much like LeMahieu, Urshela has actually been a bit better at home this season. But that doesn’t take away from his stellar road performance. Urshela has been more of an all or nothing hitter on the road, with a .246 ISO, compared to .198 at home. He’s been particularly dangerous on the road against left-handers. In such situations, Urshela owns a .995 OPS and a 157 wRC+.
The playoffs are a whole different animal than the regular season, but the Yankees can find some comfort in the fact that they have an infield cluttered with players who have performed admirably on the road during the 2019 campaign. If their outfield can match that production, the Yankees could be a much better road team in the playoffs than they have been in the regular season.