For Blue Jays, Home Field Advantage in MLB Playoffs is Key!

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Sep 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees pay tribute to Yogi Berra during a moments silence prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees appear to have a hold on the first Wild Card spot. Somehow, some way, they’ve managed to hang around this season. Against all odds, they look set to make yet another post season appearance, their 51st in franchise history. And, of all of these possible opponents, the Yankees would be the most familiar with the confines of Rogers Centre. They would have the most experience and offer numbers into which we can put more stock.

Much like the Angels, the Yankees have similar numbers on the road as they do at home. They’ve managed a slash line of .248/.319/.414 thanks to hitting 98 home runs. Now, we all know the home run haven that Yankee Stadium is, but we have to give credit that they’re hitting them out everywhere. And, the Yankees show a slightly different approach on the road. They walk more and strike out less. Now, the difference is not exactly huge, but it is there.

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  • Have they been able to be successful at Rogers Centre? Now so much. The 2015 season has seen the Blue Jays as a thorn in the Yankees’ collective side. At Rogers Centre, Yankee hitters have slashed .230/.283/.374. In total, they’ve scored 25 runs over 9 games and have 70 hits. But, the damage has been minimal. Of those 70, 18 were doubles and just 8 were home runs. Not bad considering the power that the pinstripe lineup has.

    Yankee pitching actually has a winning record (42-36) on the road, despite their 4.00 ERA. They’ve actually surrendered fewer runs on the road, too. But they’ve given up more hits by 40, which isn’t so bad. It does make for a higher road WHIP, though. Their pitching at Rogers Centre has also been fairly good, considering. They’ve managed to keep the heavy hitters in the ballpark, surrendering just 7 long balls. The Blue Jays have shown an ability to be patient with Yankee pitching as they’ve walked 30 times in those 9 games in Toronto. They’ve struck out 69 times. A 2.30 SO/W ratio is not exactly encouraging, if you’re a Yankee fan. It might be for Blue Jays’ fans, though.

    Toronto Blue Jays
    Toronto Blue Jays /

    Toronto Blue Jays

    The numbers appear to be more even, here. This might be due to the sample size being larger. It is easy to get skewed results in just a few games, like the previous examples. When we have more to work with, balancing tends to happen. While the Yankee numbers against the Blue Jays aren’t overwhelmingly encouraging, we could take solace in the fact that the home team seems to have their number.

    The Blue Jays seem to be able to call on a little something extra against the Yankees this year. It is paying off to the tune of a 13-6 record. Perhaps that “something extra” will come in the form of what real “home field advantage” provides. Firstly, the last at bat is the biggest advantage. We know this. But, this year, we have seen the other factor that will certainly favor the Blue Jays in the post season. That is the fans.

    Never before have we seen this level of excitement in Rogers Centre (SkyDome). Remember when Dave Winfield had to ask for noise? Not this time ’round. The Blue Jays will benefit from a capacity crowd on hand to cheer them on and carry them. The volume and passion of Blue Jays’ fans automatically tips the scale in the home team’s favor. Whether it is the Royals, Rangers, Astros, Angels or Yankees, the visiting team will certainly be at a disadvantage. And, that is why the Blue Jays need to keep fighting right until the last out of the regular season.

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