The worst part of watching the Rockies 11-2 victory Saturday night on mlb.tv is listening to the Reds' announcers talk about how much the Rockies' offensive prowess was due to Coors Field and how the team's home/road splits showed how the team was only a home juggernaut. Troy Tulowitzki deciding to go nuclear on the most recent homestand and Charlie Blackmon doing the same during the first homestand have skewed their home numbers to make their splits look large but are they really that bad on the road and are they that much different from other MLB batters?
Here are the ten overall leaders in OPS in the National League with their home and road OPS and the % difference (positive is better at home). I put their ranking of home OPS and road OPS in parentheses.
|Name||OPS||Home OPS||Road OPS||Difference|
|Troy Tulowitzki||1.288||1.775 (1)||.881 (21)||69.4%|
|Charlie Blackmon||.991||1.240 (2)||.653 (98)||59.2%|
|Giancarlo Stanton||.985||1.167 (7)||.743 (61)||43.0%|
|Justin Morneau||.964||.987 (18)||.924 (16)||6.5%|
|Justin Upton||.954||1.199 (5)||.638 (102)||58.8%|
|Andrew McCutchen||.938||1.019 (15)||.805 (41)||22.8%|
|Chase Utley||.938||.874 (36)||.966 (11)||-9.8%|
|Adam LaRoche||.925||.941 (26)||.904 (19)||4.0%|
|Carlos Gomez||.920||.849 (43)||.974 (10)||-13.6%|
|Paul Goldschmidt||.920||.914 (31)||.943 (13)||-3.2%|
While Tulo and Blackmon have large splits compared to a lot of the others, Justin Upton is reasonably close to the same split and Giancarlo Stanton is in the same ball park. Especially when you consider that after the Rockies game Saturday night, Blackmon's road OPS improved to .755 for a new difference of 48.9%. Likewise, Tulo improved his road OPS to .929 with a new difference of 65.7%. Also notice that Justin Morneau has little change from home to road, proof that it is not just due to altitude that Rockies hitters are doing well.
The fact that one game can change these splits along with a couple of players fairing better on the road then at home shows that there is likely a small sample size issue. While the season is nearing the one quarter mark, teams on average have only played six series at home and six on the road. One good or bad series can effect these numbers much like hot streaks at home gave two Rockies huge boosts. An example is the Milwaukee Brewers. Their only hitter on this overall list is Carlos Gomez, but he is one of three Brewers in the top ten of road OPS. This can be attributed to easier teams on the road and warmer weather.
Other Rockies of note also do not share in the same difference that Tulo and Charlie do. Nolan Arenado's split is less than 20% difference and he is actually better at getting on base when away from home. DJ LeMahieu's numbers are better at home as well, right at 20%. Thanks to Carlos Gonazalez's slump that started on a road trip, he has numbers that have a similar difference to Tulo's. Willin Rosario, before he got sick, was doing better on the road than at home and shows that it really matters when you hit a hot streak when discussing split numbers like this so early in the season.
So, in conclusion, the Rockies get an offensive benefit from Coors (duh), but it isn't necessarily anymore of a drastic difference than other hitting-friendly parks. Perhaps by the middle of the season, the numbers will be able to provide more clarity on how large of an advantage it is.
This week's G, B, and U
The Good-Apparently the Rockies can take their offense out on the road. While they did get shut out in one road game this week, the Rockies still managed 23 runs in four road games this week.
The Bad-Boone Logan had an off-game for the Rockies and it cost them Friday night with a loss.
The Ugly-As if Logan's pitching wasn't bad enough at the end of Friday night's game, the defense in Thursday's game against the Rangers was dreadful. Three errors and a passed ball turned a game that could have been interesting into a decisive win for Texas.