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Why are we so much better at home than on the road?


adambr2

Here's a simple method to figuring out how good a team is on the road vs. home, without calculating percentages: Just look at the difference between number of games over or under .500 at home, vs. the number of games over or under .500 on the road. Thus the Brewers at 30-13 are +17 at home, and at 16-19, are -3 on the road, for a +20 home differential. Again, that's the biggest differential in baseball.

 

We saw this last season, too. The Brewers difference at the end of the year was an astounding +42 home differential. Only the Devil Rays were able to match that, finishing with an average 41-40 record at home but an abysmal 20-61 on the road.

 

While it is nice to see us playing so well at home, I'm a little troubled at seeing us heading in the same direction as last year. Most teams play somewhat better at home than on the road, that makes sense and is true for most teams. But the difference, in my opinion, shouldn't be THIS extreme.

 

Again, I wish I could explain why we play so much better at home than on the road, when compared to other MLB teams, but I really don't have the slightest idea. With this much of a differential, there has to be more to it than just knowing the field better and playing with more focus in front of their fans.

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Look at the teams we've played on the road. We've actually done pretty well on the road.

 

We've played: Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, Padres, Tigers, Twins and Cubs on the road. Of these series you could argue we should probably do 1-2 on all of them, give or take. We were only swept once, by a surging Padres team. We actually beat the Twins, Cubs and more impressively the Tigers. Are you suggesting we should be beating up on all these teams on the road?

 

We've won almost every series besides these on the road, as it would be argued we should. We haven't swept anyone on the road yet. The only series we should have won and we lost was against Texas. And we probably should have considering we had a 4 run lead with 2 outs in the ninth inning in one of the games.

 

Now we have some cup cakes coming up after the Cubs series with 7 roadies against the Pirates and Nationals.

 

We've played out toughest portion of our schedule being the tough teams away.

 

We have in fact done pretty well on the road when you consider who we've played and the results we've gotten. We're not losing to the bad teams and are getting a game from the good teams. We just haven't played as many bad teams on the road yet.

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We're on pace for 37 road wins, which is a 10 game improvement over last year. We're also a sweep away from being .500 on the road (not that I'm predicting anythinghttp://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif ).

 

I think looking at differentials is flawed. Good teams will win a ton at home and be around .500 on the road.

 

They had a 30 game differential in 1978 and a 28 game differential in 1992. Both years they won 90+ games, and were only 3 game under .500 on the road. It's skewed this year because they have been insane at home. They're on a record 56 win pace at home.

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While it is nice to see us playing so well at home, I'm a little troubled at seeing us heading in the same direction as last year.

 

Brewers road record this date last year: 14-23

Brewers road record this year: 16-19

 

If this pace continued for the rest of the year the Brewers would have a road record of 37-41 which is right around what you ask for.

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Well we are always trying to win 2 of 3 at home and play .500 on the road. That would leave us with a target of 29-14 at home and 17-18 or 18-17 on the road. That would give us a record of 46-32 or 45-33. Seems to me we are playing just about as good as we should. I am not as worried about a big split as long as we are close to .500 on the road.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Look at the teams we've played on the road. We've actually done pretty well on the road.

 

I am not sure about that.

 

We are currently 12th in the NL with road wins. Of course a lot of those teams play the same teams the Brewers have.

 

2005 -- 11th in road wins

2006 -- 15th in road wins

 

I am not one to get excited about silver-lining-losses. Just because we lost to the Pads or Mets does not mean we would have beaten WAS or TB. We will have to play good teams on the road in the playoffs, so we will need to clear that hurdle. Without a doubt it is something that has been a problem in the past, and needs to be improved on in the future.

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We are currently 12th in the NL with road wins. Of course a lot of those teams play the same teams the Brewers have.

 

In the same vein, do you think we'd win 8 of 9 or 9 of 10 at home against the Mets, Padres and Tigers in a stand? Is that likely? Probably a bit more likely when you have a Cards/Pirates/Nationals or a Giants/Royals/Astros home stand.

 

First it has to be admitted that we've played more good teams than bad teams on the road to date. From this fact we can determine we have a lot of bad teams left to play on the road. So our relative record on the road is in effect pretty good, considering the circumstances.

 

We can also determine that we have some harder home games ahead of us and our home percentage may dip some. But I'd expect our road percentage to rise, nearly symmetrically.

 

I think we've performed as we should against the teams we've played on the road.

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So our relative record on the road is in effect pretty good, considering the circumstances.

 

If you are saying "so far, so good" I won't argue with that -- however, just because we played some close games on the road against some good teams, doesn't ensure we will do well when we roll up into the bad teams parks.

 

The longer trend seems to indicate struggling on the road. Hopefully we start getting more road wins.

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The important thing that BBF is pointing out is that there are frequently variables that get in the way when we try to look for reasons behind a particular phenomenon. In this case, the 'good opponent' factor is getting in the way of judging how much difference actually exists when the team is on the road.

 

How do we isolate the variables and come close to an actual answer? I'd submit that only Russ knows for sure! http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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Here's some raw numbers:

 [b] Record RS/G RA/G Pyth Rec[/b] Home 30 - 13 5.3 3.8 28 - 15 Road 16 - 19 4.4 5.0 16 - 19

As for why it's been so pronounced, I don't know if it has anything to do with the makeup of the team. Could just be a coincidence.

 

EDIT: How do we isolate the variables and come close to an actual answer? I'd submit that only Russ knows for sure!

 

There's already a lot of uncertainty with a team's record after only 78 games. Take a pretend team that had exactly a 50% chance of winning all of their 78 games. While you'd expect a 39-39 record, there would be 1 in 3 chance they'd have over 43 wins or under 35 wins. Now you want to analysis to samples half that size? Statistical noise could be the only reason (although it's only one possible explanation).

 

Anyone have the strength of schedule home and away?

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In this case, the 'good opponent' factor is getting in the way of judging how much difference actually exists when the team is on the road.

 

Maybe with regard to differential this is true -- but probably not so much to our NL ranking (12th) as I am sure we are not the only team to play the Pads, Mets, etc. on the road.

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The longer trend seems to indicate struggling on the road.
If you mean the last few years I agree. If you are talking about this year I disagree. Other than the series against Texas where we should have won another game we are winning or splitting series on the road against teams we should beat. We have 4 road series left where we play "good" teams. COL, SF, ARI. and ATL. WE should be able to beat SF and COL on the road, but west coast swings are always tough. Every other road trip is a division team or WAS. All very winnable. Like said before, we have already played most of our tough road series.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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just to point out that the win total is a little misleading since we've played by my count 9 more home games to this point then road games. If you just flip around the number of games the Brewers would have like 4 more road wins which would probably put them near the top 3
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If the Brewers hadn't blown those 2 games in Texas, they'd have a winning record on the road and we probably wouldn't even be talking about this. Tiger fans are probably wondering why their team is doing so much better on the road this year. There might be a specific reason or it might just be dumb luck. Sometimes it HAS to be just luck.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm bringing this thread back up from the dead now, because after losing 2 of 3 to the Cubs, 3 of 4 to the Pirates, and 2 of 3 to the Nationals, I think we beginning to realize what an awful disparity this is.

 

We don't have a bad road record because of our road schedule so far. We have a bad road record because we are a bad road team.

 

19-26 now. I think 8-21 in our last 29. This is unacceptable! We said at the beginning of the season that we needed to be around .500 to think playoffs, that's not looking likely at this point. I can make my peace with dropping 2 of 3 in New York, but when we start to take that tired act to Washington, it's getting a little ridiculous.

 

You don't go 30-13 at home without a great deal of talent. They should not have this much trouble playing away from the friendly confines of Miller Park.

 

If they don't start learning how to win on the road, the Brewers aren't going to the playoffs. That's it.

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Young team, and they are built for MP, especially the offense.

 

Much of it is overstated, as you should be better at home. Much like when radio hosts start figuring out records in jersey tops, I get pretty bored...over 162 is really all that matters.

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It's homer friendly though, Joe. Doug has built the club to be long ball friendly (and xbh a bit), for the home park.

 

True, but it only increases homers by 5%.

 

I think the bigger problem is the pitching on the road. Their ERA goes up a whole run on the road this year, compared to only .7 runs last year and .4 the year before. Hopefully that is just statistical noise and the pitching picks it up in the 2nd half.

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I posted a new topic on this this morning and I didn't see this one, so my apologies to the moderators for the redundant thread.

 

Much of what I was wondering about has been answered here, although I have two questions I am curious about.

 

1) I was watching a baseball video newsclip on Yahoo! and one of the commentators made the remark that Diamondacks have a bad record on the road because they're young. Al made a similar comment about the Brewers in a previous post on this thread. My question is: Why do people say that young teams have trouble on the road? Are there stats for this? The Devil Rays are young and their road record isn't that much different than their home record. The Marlins are quite young and actually do better on the road. So why does youth make a difference for road trips?

 

2) Do people think our home record will sustain itself as this kind of high, and will our road record continue to blow? Our first half road record includes games against the Mets, Phillies, Padres and Dodgers. Except for the Dodgers, we play those teams at home in the second half. Will this dent our home record?

 

We have 38 games at home and 36 on the road from here on out. If we were to play those at the same pace as we did in the first half, we'd have about 90-91 wins or so.

 

But did we just have an easy home schedule in the first half coupled with true road troubles, or did we have an easy home schedule alongside a more difficult road schedule? If the former, then we'll have a rocky second half. If the latter, we can hope that our 90-91 wins is more than the Cubs can muster.

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BCR -

 

Good post. Here's my take:

 

I believe there may be some correlation between young teams and road struggles. Obviously there are some exceptions, like the Marlins which you noted. However, the Devil Rays tied us last year for biggest home/road differential.

 

As far as whether our home record will maintain, it's going to have to. Playoff teams generally don't play as bad on the road as we do. We're bad enough on the road where a 7-3 homestand generally isn't good enough. We need the 8-1 and 9-1 homestands that we put up earlier this year.

 

The reason I am frustrated about the differential, is that it doesn't seem to me that it needs to be that way. If we can be 30-13 at home, does that not indicate some kind of good ability to win ballgames? No, I don't expect to win 30 of 43 on the road. I don't think, however, that .500 is a lot to ask for from a team that has demonstrated the ability to win 30 of 43 at home.

 

Now, I contemplated the valid point earlier about the fact that we played a tough road schedule in the first half. Now, however, I just can't buy that as much. Failures against the Cubs (average team), Pirates (mediocre/poor team),and Nationals (poor team), indicate to me that we just aren't getting it done on the road, regardless of who it's against. I thought we had started to turn that around against Detroit and Minnesota. Now we seem to have fallen back into the familiar funk.

 

I can see us going something like 55-26 at home and 35 - 46 on the road. That's enough to get us in, probably. But I would like to feel in a playoff game on the road that we have some sort of chance to win.

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