Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Home cooking gone bad

My son made a good observation last night. He grew up with an old man who loved baseball and he inherited that love. Anyway, he was looking at the AL East in particular and observed that a lot of teams did not seem to be taking advantage of their home field. I looked at the top two teams in each division and out of those twelve teams, six had a better record on the road than at home. That seemed odd to me.
I knew that the Yankees were not doing well at home. But neither is Boston. The Tigers are not doing well at home. The Brewers, traditionally a team that dominates at home and stinks on the road is doing as well as they are because this year, they are killing it on the road much more than at home.
That led me to do a little digging on the home - road splits over the years. And what I found is that thus far, 2014 is in historic territory. I looked at pitching splits because they include the won-loss records for the last 25 seasons. This season's home record win percentage of .512 is historically low. Most years range anywhere from .526 to as high as .559.
Here is a chart that shows what I mean. This is the home winning percentage of pitchers over time:
winning percNotice that there was only one year that came close: 1994. The winning percentage that year for home pitchers (and thus, their teams) was .517. 
So what does this mean? I have no idea frankly. Is this another symptom of the parity that everyone is talking about? It could be. I just thought it was interesting.

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