Road woes, or just better teams?

Posted by Steve

We’re hearing quite a bit about the Brewers’ crazy home-road splits on the season. Tom Haudricourt in particular has made a huge deal of it. I’m writing this right as Monday’s game ended, but I’m willing to bet the headline of the game story will mention it.

But is it much ado about virtually nothing? About a third of the way into the season, we can’t really even say much about a team yet. It’s early enough that it could very well be that the Brewers have just played better teams on the road than at home to this point. Let’s take a look.

At home, the Brewers have played the Braves (30-25), Cubs (23-29), Astros (20-34), Reds (28-27), Padres (23-31), Pirates (24-28), Rockies (25-27), Nationals (22-31), and Giants (29-24). The combined record of these teams is 224-256, for a .466 winning percentage.

On the road, the Brewers have played the Reds (28-27), Pirates (24-28), Nationals (22-31), Phillies (34-20), Astros (20-34), Braves (30-25), Cardinals, (32-23),  Dodgers (24-30), Padres (23-31), and Reds again. The combined record of these teams (counting the Reds once, since they’ve only played one game in this series) is 237-249, for a .488 winning percentage.

Of course, this isn’t the best way to analyze this (just the quickest). A more accurate representation of the talent of the teams they’ve played would come through using run differential, or even PECOTA’s projected records. Still, it’s pretty clear that the Brewers have played better teams on the road, and that fact is partially responsible for their drastic home-road difference.

Now it’s not a drastic difference, and by no means does it explain everything, but it’s still there. My overall point: it doesn’t make sense to draw too much of a conclusion from this. Goofy things happen in small sample sizes. The larger of a sample you get, the few goofy things you get. More than likely their home-road record will start evening out as the sample size grows larger.

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2 responses to “Road woes, or just better teams?

  1. But if you remove the games that the Brewers won or lost from those teams’ records, the splits would be more even. Still, I agree that it is silly and possibly even detrimental to talk about the Brewers’ so called “road woes.” It seems to me that the offense happened to be hot during a long stretch of home games and happened to be cold at a time when they played a lot of games on the road. Correlation doesn’t imply causation!!

  2. True. I don’t claim it to be some amazing study… I just did it quickly.

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