At first glance, the Rockies home and road records might not look so outlandish:
Home Record = 8-13
Road Record = 14-13
Most teams play better at home than on the road, and would consider a record flip like this only mildly surprising, but these are the Colorado Rockies. A franchise that has such wacky home and road splits historically, that they're better off playing a first place team at home than a cellar dweller on the road, and yes, the numbers bear that out. So when the Rockies post a split like this in the home and road record arena for any time period lasting longer than a few weeks, it deserves your attention.
Just how odd are these early season home and road numbers? Well, we're two months into the season, and the Rockies are on pace to go 42-39 on the road, which would be their best road record in franchise history. Yet at the same time, they're also on pace to go 31-50 at home, which would be by far their worst home record in franchise history.
For more context, let's look at the history. First up, the Rockies record at Coors Field (1995-2014):
Now in contrast, their road record over the same 20 year time period.
And finally for comparison's sake, because that's what really matters here, the gap in home and road success for the Rockies sorted by both win percentage, and the pure difference in wins posted at home and on the road.
Let's focus on a few important things these tables tell us.
1) The Rockies have never posted a better record on the road than 41-40, likely due to the reverse Coors Effect.
2) The Rockies have never posted a worse record than 38-43 at home (sans 2012), and average a 45-36 mark at Coors over the years. So even when they're bad, and they've been bad a lot over the last 20 years, they're never flat out terrible at home over the course of a full season.
3) The Rockies have always been a better team at Coors than on the road, and they're usually significantly better. Since moving into Coors in 1995, the Rockies have never failed to post a better record at home than on the road. In fact, other than 2011 when they were just three games better at home, every other year (95 percent of the time) the Rockies have been at least six game better at home, and they average 13 games better.
Knowing this, let's look at the current home and road records of this team one more time.
Home Record = 8-13
Road Record = 14-13
Do you see it now? This flip in production is not going to last the season. Not if 20 years of persistent history has anything to say about it.
The Rockies may be a decent road team that's able to stay around .500 on the road, and the Rockies may be nothing more than a mediocre team at home that by season's end will end up a few games under .500. However, they're almost certainly not both of these things.
This means that either (or both) the home or the road record, is about the shift violently. If the road record shifts first, then the Rockies will move no closer to .500 over the next few weeks as they play 18 of 24 at home, and eventually have a brutal 20 or 30 game stretch later on in the season during a road heavy stretch plunging them towards their fifth straight campaign of no meaningful baseball in August and September.
If however, the home record shifts dramatically, then we're at the front end of a very fun stretch of Rockies baseball. There's actually an analog for this happening too. In 2009, the Rockies were 19-18 on the road, and 9-14 at home 60 games into the season.
They were returning home from a very successful 11 game road trip (8-3 record), and as it turned out, their road record was real and their poor home record was a mirage. Fueling this story line even further was the fact that the schedule was so road heavy for those Rockies early, that they actually played 14 more games on the road than at home through game 60.
The 2015 Rockies have similarities here, although things are not quite as extreme. They've also played a road heavy schedule, but only six more games this time through game 48. However, another important similarity here could be Troy Tulowitzki.
In 2009, he started off terrible with a .686 OPS and a nothing WAR all the way into early June. Then he changed his batting stance closer to the one we see today and posted a 1.043 OPS and a WAR over 5.0 from June 8th on. There's no guarantee Tulo will have that kind of turnaround this season, but knowing this player, it's possible.
In any case, the 2015 Rockies have an extremely heavy home schedule coming up, which includes 18 of the next 24 and 30 of the next 49 games at Coors Field. Even if the road record eventually flips (it even flipped to a degree in 2009 as the Rockies lost ten of the their last 15 road games that season), this is an opportunity to get over .500 again and perhaps inject some excitement into the fan base.
Let's see what happens.