Going into their upcoming series against the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees' offense hasn't been quite what it used to be. While they currently hover around the middle of the pack in the AL in fWAR (1.8) and their team OBP is a fine .316, good for fifth in the league, runs have been hard to come by. Through their first 17 games, the Bombers have plated only 66 runs, second-worst in their division, just in front of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees have only scored more runs than the Rays, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in their league. It would take quite the eruption for them to get near the mark of the 764 runs they had last season or even the 109 they scored in the first month of the 2015 campaign.
Luckily for them, however, the first stop on their current road trip could give way to success. The aforementioned Rangers of course play in Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, a haven for homers and large run totals for many years. Only once since 2008 has the ballpark not been sandwiched in the Top 10 in ESPN's Park Factors for runs, and thus far this season, the only ballparks that have yielded better numbers are Chase Field and Coors Field. For homers, meanwhile, Globe Life Park is at the top of the summit with a mark of 2.222, a shade above Marlins Park in Miami which has yielded a mark of 2.159.
Suffice it to say the Yankees should be pleased with this development as it could serve to end their run scoring woes. It should also provide an intriguing litmus test for them as they have mightily struggled through their road trips so far. In five games in Detroit and Toronto, the Yankees only scored 15 runs and have a team OPS of merely .600. Their batting average is a meager .210 and they've hit just four homers, struck out 32 times and drew just 17 walks. Comparatively the Yankees are hitting .249 in their home ballpark with an OPS of .724, have knocked 14 home runs and drawn 45 walks.
The Rangers have expectedly benefitted from playing in their own ballpark as well. They've hit .266 as a team with a .745 OPS, seven homers, and 28 walks. They've also thrived with hitting doubles, something that the Yankees haven't done much of this year. While the Yankees currently have 19, the Rangers have that exact same mark... at home, and 34 total. That could be due in large to the types of hitters the Rangers possess but only Progressive Field in Cleveland has a higher 2B factor mark than the Rangers' home venue, so the Yankees could use the whole ballpark to their advantage. With ground to make up in their gauntlet division, it's imperative to strike now as the month of April comes to a close.
The Yankees also have the benefit of not facing Rangers ace Cole Hamels, or Derek Holland in this upcoming series. Instead, Cesar Ramos, A.J. Griffin, and Martin Perez will be the probables for this series. Ramos has yet to pitch in the 2016 MLB season, and Griffin and Perez each have a FIP of 4.62 and 5.14, and an xFIP of 5.34 and 5.20 respectively. Griffin has a K/9 of 6.35 and a BABIP of just .220. Perez, meanwhile, has been smacked around this season and has a K/9 of just 4.13 and a BABIP of .254, third-highest amongst Rangers starters so far. We don't know what we're getting out of Cesar Ramos as he's only started a combined 10 games at the major league level. Through 299 innings in the majors, he has posted a 3.78 FIP, 4.12 xFIP, and a K% of 18.7 percent.
If the Yankees continue to be plagued by their .194 average with RISP this season then Yankee fans will either start panicking or start looking forward to the moment when the dam breaks and and luck bounces their way. Heading to Texas could be exactly what the doctor ordered for this ball club, and the boys in pinstripes have a chance to end the month of April on a high note come the end of this series in Arlington.
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