By The Numbers: The Yankees' August Opponents
Baltimore, Seattle, and Detroit are in the rearview mirror already this month, and after leaving Toronto, the Yankees play Texas, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto again, and Baltimore again before Labor Day.
So how tough is that is that five-week stretch? Let’s go By the Numbers to show just how taxing August really could be on Yankees pitching.
4: As of Friday, Curtis Granderson was tied for second in the AL with 30 home runs…and the Yankees’ August schedule features four of the six men – Miguel Cabrera (29, tied for fourth), Edwin Encarnacion (also 29), Josh Hamilton (30, tied for second), and Adam Dunn (31, league leader) – who join him in the Top 5. For completion’s sake, we say six because Minnesota’s Josh Willingham and Mark Trumbo of the Angels are also tied for fourth with 29 dingers each.
6: The Yankees’ August also features six of the nine men who as of Friday morning joined Mark Teixeira (75, tied for sixth) in the Top 10 in the league in RBI; Cabrera and Hamilton lead the league with 95, Detroit’s Prince Fielder is fourth with 81, Dunn and Encarnacion are tied with Teixeira for sixth with 75, and Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez is ninth with 74.
14: Through Thursday, there were 14 qualified AL hitters with averages of .300 are better. Two of them are Robinson Cano (.316, tied for fifth) and Derek Jeter (.313, tenth), and eight of the other 12 are on teams facing the Yankees in August, with only league leader Mike Trout (.345), Minnesota’s Joe Mauer (.316, tied with Cano for sixth), and Kansas City’s Billy Butler (.303, 13th) and Alcides Escobar (.301, 14th) not making an appearance on the schedule.
3: The Yankees have three men (Jeter, Cano, and Ichiro) in the AL Top 20 in hits as of Friday morning, but so do three other teams, two of which – the White Sox, who feature Alex Rios, Alejandro de Aza, and Paul Konerko, and the Rangers, who have Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, and Ian Kinsler – are on the August slate. The fourth, for completist’s sake, is Kansas City.
8: Slugging percentage? August has that too, with eight of the 11 men who join Robinson Cano (.558, seventh) in the Top 12 in slugging on the slate. One of those is league leader David Ortiz (.609), who may or may not be back from the disabled list by August 17 – but even without him, that’s still one heck of a group.
16: And, of course, we’ve got runs too, as counting Granderson (78, third) and Cano (70, tied for sixth), those watching YES will see 14 of the Top 16 run scorers in the AL in August. Rather than listing them all, we’ll just tell you that you won’t see league leader Mike Trout (87) and Josh Willingham (66, tied for 12th) in August.
9: And finally, we want to at least end on one stat that might make the Yankees’ pitching staff happy. As of Friday, 14 AL hitters had struck out 100 times or more; Curtis Granderson is one (and thus, of course, can’t face the Yankees’ staff), but of the other “unlucky 13,” nine of them are on the August schedule, and two more (Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton) follow come Sept. 3.
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