MLB Wins Minus Home Games
All the site switches from Tuesday to Wednesday in this week's cavalcade of Interleague action in Major League Baseball was a helpful reminder that it's been awhile since we checked in on one of our pet stats. This particular measure is a great way to take pollution out of the standings that can be caused by unbalanced home/road splits at any point in a season. And, RIGHT NOW, we have A LOT of unbalanced splits that are helping to wreak havoc with the standings!
There's no greater example of that than in the American League East division. So, we'll start there. After Tuesday Night's action (all data today will be through Tuesday results), the Tampa Bay Rays led the AL East. Yet, look at what happens when you measure WINS minus HOME GAMES…
NY Yankees +7
Tampa Bay -2
They drop way off the pace. You see Tampa Bay has played 38 home games compared to just 28 road games. That helps solve the mystery we discussed yesterday. Why were they winning so much? A schedule quirk had given them more home games than everyone else! The Yankees are still very much in command here once you adjust for the schedule split. Toronto may be the only "legitimate" Wildcard contender in the bunch. Everyone else will have to make up for lost ground on the road from this point forward.
Kansas City +6
Chicago White Sox even
We also have a surprise here, as Detroit falls way off the pace because they've played 36 home games and only 29 road games. Would you have guessed they'd rank fifth and dead last in this measure? Kansas City is well ahead of the field. We have surprising parity behind the Royals…with the White Sox grading out better than expected (28 home games, 35 road games so far).
LA Angels -1
The big news here is that the Astros suddenly don't look all that impressive. Some huge story in Houston! They fall to just +1 because they've played 37 home games and only 29 road games. It's the Texas Rangers who are the team to watch right now…which most of you knew already because they've had such a great month. Stunning that preseason American League favorites like Boston, Detroit, and the LA Angels are all on the wrong side of zero…as are a few projected darkhorses.
NY Mets -1
The big news here is that the NY Mets show up as a pretender rather than a contender. They've played 37 home games and 29 road games. Can they stay relevant in the race once that evens out? No wonder the betting market "Futures" prices are so much higher on Washington than NYM. Atlanta has a chance to sneak up on people in the Wildcard picture.
St. Louis +10
Chicago Cubs +3
The Cardinals grade out as the best team in baseball with this approach. Though, they now have some off-the-field issues that are grabbing the headlines (can you hear that "hacking" cough?). Note how well Pittsburgh grades out. They'd lead either Western division with that +5 mark. The Pirates should definitely be on your radar as a sleeper from this point forward. Good news for the Cubs that they show up as legit. This franchise has a great future ahead of it with this management team.
LA Dodgers +2
San Francisco even
San Diego -3
Big surprises here are that the Dodgers and Giants don't grade out as well as most would have thought. Plus 2 just isn't that great for a power. LAD has played 35 home games and 30 road games. The Giants are at 35-31 both in the standings and their home/road split. Would you have thought Pittsburgh would have dominated both in this stat? Very disappointing division once you take out the pollution. You can see why San Diego just fired its manager.
We'll try to check in on this stat every few weeks. The next look will probably come around the All-Star Break in July. Hopefully you've mapped out your baseball plans for the summer to include JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!
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Baseball previews resume tomorrow. Look at these intriguing matchups coming up over the next several days…
Friday: MLB Series Preview…San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Saturday: MLB TV Preview…Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees on FOX
Sunday: MLB Notes
Monday: MLB Series Preview…Los Angeles Dodgers at the Chicago Cubs
Tuesday: MLB Series Preview…San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants
Wednesday MLB Big Game Preview…to be determined
Thursday: MLB Series Preview…New York Yankees at Houston Astros
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