While the Yankees are having a good season, one thing people like to point out is that the Yankees do not play well against teams over .500. Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal points out that the Yankees record (after the recent White Sox series) against teams that are .500 or better is just 24-29. That doesn’t sound so good does it? Well, don’t worry, of the last 9 championship teams, 5 of them had losing records against teams .500 or above. The Yankees have been beating up on bad teams this year, and that is in fact the mark of a champion. During the regular season, a team can play extremely well against .500 or above teams, and then flop in the playoffs. Everson, points out the Los Angeles Angels of 2007 (.594 against “good” teams) and 2008 (.605 against “good” teams) who despite their great records against good teams, were eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs both times. So, that is just something to think about when people critize the Yankees for not playing well against good teams.
For what it is worth, the Yankees are technically now 31-29 against teams .500 or better, because the Twins (who the Yankees are 7-0 against) recently became a .500 team (they were below .500 at the time that Everson wrote this article). So right now the Yankees have a .517 winning percentage against teams .500 or better, and the recent championship team that that compares most to is the 2007 Red Sox (.524 winning percentage against .500 or better teams). Still, the whole point is that a team doesn’t have to have a winning record against .500 or above teams to be a championship team.