Tuesday, July 15, 2008
For years upon years the relevance of home field advantage in has been diminished by both the media and the public. It's a baseball game it's all about how your starting pitcher performs. Well, this year it is evident just how important home field advantage has been. Only two teams are better on the road than at home (San Fran and LAA) and two teams are the same amount over .500 on the road and at home (Phillies & Cards) the remainder of the 26 teams are all better at home. Some squads are ridiculously better at home. The Red Sox are 36-11 at home while 21-29 on the road, the Rays are 36-14 at home while 19-25 on the road and the Cubs are 37-12 at home and 20-26 at home.
Of course records aren't the only differences between the home and road splits. The Cardinals currently have the best average on the road at .279. Meanwhile eight teams are hitting .280 or better at home including three above .300. Teams have averaged 16 more total runs, 3 more homers, 15 more rbi, and + .046 OPS at home this season.
And of course why would the pitching be any different. The Angels have the best ERA on the road at 3.45. Ten teams in baseball have an ERA of 3.44 or better at home. The Rays are the biggest extreme with a league leading ERA of 2.82 at home while ranking in at 23rd on the road at 4.93. The league has a .10 better WHIP and .18 better K/9 rate at home.
If there's one lesson to be learned here, it's that perhaps this year more than the All Star Game truly does matter.