There’s No Place Like Road

The Kansas City Royals, a preseason sexy pick for most improved team, stumbled quite badly out of the gate this year.  A 3-2 record to start devolved into a 3-14 disaster thanks in large part to an 0-10 homestand.

They’ve recovered a bit (22-29 as of Saturday evening), but they still possess an unusual home/road record split.   While historically most teams play better at home (home teams have won roughly 54% of the time since 1901), the Royals have won just six of their first 24 (.250) at home, while going 16-11 (.593) on the road, a difference of .343.

That got the VORG wondering whether other teams have had such a decided “reverse split” in home/road winning percentages.   Let’s first look at the worst home winning percentages since 1901, all of whom couldn’t win 30% of their games in their home park:

Team W L Pct.
SLB 1939 18 59 .234
BSN 1911 19 54 .260
PHA 1915 19 53 .264
PHI 1923 20 55 .267
NYM 1962 22 58 .275
DET 2003 23 58 .284
BSN 1923 22 55 .286
KCA 1956 22 55 .286
PHI 1961 22 55 .286
PHI 1945 22 55 .286
BOS 1906 22 54 .289
MON 1969 24 57 .296
SLB 1953 23 54 .299
PIT 1952 23 54 .299

The 2012 Royals find themselves in some pretty rare company with 30% of their home schedule complete.   They’re in the mix with the 120-loss debut season of the 1962 Mets, the 119-loss Tigers and the inaugural season of the Montreal Expos.  As a side note, none of the “sub-.300 at home” teams finished better than .416 on the road during that same season.

Here are the biggest differences amongst those teams that finished below .500 at home AND above .500 on the road in the same year:

HOME ROAD
Team W L Pct. W L Pct. Diff.
CHC 1994 20 39 .339 29 25 .537 .198
KCR 1998 29 51 .363 43 38 .531 .168
BRO 1948 36 41 .468 48 29 .623 .155
PHA 1948 36 41 .468 48 29 .623 .155
BOS 1980 36 45 .444 47 32 .595 .151
KCR 1981 19 28 .404 31 25 .554 .150
CHW 1912 34 43 .442 44 33 .571 .129
MIL 1999 32 48 .400 42 39 .519 .119
LAD 1970 39 42 .481 48 32 .600 .119
WSH 1960 32 45 .416 41 36 .532 .116
NYM 2011 34 47 .420 43 38 .531 .111
SDP 2001 35 46 .432 44 37 .543 .111
NYM 1968 32 49 .395 41 40 .506 .111
DET 1917 34 41 .453 44 34 .564 .111
STL 1994 23 33 .411 30 28 .517 .106
DET 1956 37 40 .481 45 32 .584 .103

The 1994 (and 1981) seasons were shortened by strikes, so it looks like another Royals team, from 1998, may have laid the ultimate groundwork for this home/road anomaly.

 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: