FG on Fox: The Coors Field Hangover

Did you know the Rockies tend to put up big home and road splits? Of course you did. The Rockies are the very most important example of why park effects matter. Also, the most obvious. Over the past decade, the Rockies rank first in baseball in total runs scored at home, by more than 200. Over the same period, the Rockies rank last in baseball in total runs scored away from home, by more than 100. Hitting in Coors is easy! Hitting not in Coors is hard. Or so the Rockies make it look, at least.

Coors Field just does strange things to baseball. It’s not an unsolvable problem, and it might not necessarily be a problem, but, it’s something. Again, over a decade, the Rockies rank 14th in winning percentage at home. Meanwhile, they rank 28th in winning percentage on the road. If you observe the following table, you’ll note that the Rockies are exceptional in this way. They experience either a home-field advantage, a road-field disadvantage, or both.

Team Home W% Road W% Difference
Rockies 0.547 0.389 0.158
Pirates 0.512 0.378 0.134
Brewers 0.567 0.447 0.120
Rays 0.563 0.450 0.113
Blue Jays 0.554 0.443 0.111
Astros 0.494 0.385 0.109
Cardinals 0.601 0.498 0.103
Braves 0.579 0.483 0.096
Tigers 0.579 0.483 0.096
Yankees 0.622 0.531 0.091
A’s 0.564 0.473 0.091
Nationals 0.522 0.432 0.090
Reds 0.544 0.456 0.088
Red Sox 0.589 0.501 0.088
Padres 0.528 0.443 0.085
Indians 0.539 0.457 0.082
Mariners 0.499 0.417 0.082
Rangers 0.555 0.478 0.077
Twins 0.525 0.451 0.074
Orioles 0.502 0.430 0.072
D-Backs 0.517 0.446 0.071
Giants 0.540 0.470 0.070
Dodgers 0.560 0.494 0.066
White Sox 0.535 0.473 0.062
Cubs 0.498 0.436 0.062
Royals 0.463 0.416 0.047
Angels 0.583 0.536 0.047
Marlins 0.494 0.448 0.046
Phillies 0.557 0.520 0.037
Mets 0.516 0.484 0.032

It’s the Rockies, then the Pirates, some distance away. It’s pretty obvious the Rockies haven’t been as comfortable on the road as they have been in Colorado. Every team plays worse in other places, but the Rockies perform especially so, and because this is so consistent year to year, that causes people to theorize. Everyone wants to figure out why the Rockies have been so lousy away from home. Answer that, and maybe one could find a solution.

I remember reading, many many years ago, about a proposed Coors Field hangover. This was supposed to affect the bats, and the idea was that, upon reaching sea level, Rockies hitters would have to get re-accustomed to seeing pitches break normally. That is, in Colorado, pitches don’t move like they do in other places, and Rockies players get used to that. So when they go on the road, normal movement looks like abnormal movement, and then it takes time to adjust. Time that the Rockies don’t always have. I remember thinking the evidence was pretty compelling. Unfortunately I don’t have a link, but what I do have is a re-examination. I wanted to look at this for myself. Have Rockies hitters just taken a few days to get used to conventional pitching on road trips?

Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.

Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Ruin Tomorrow JR
Ruin Tomorrow JR

It was a link from DailyBaseballData, they covered it looking at a playoff series.