Find a way to win at home
I am not sure if there has ever been such a discrepancy between a team’s home record and road record, with the favor being in the road record. The Houston Astros have a 42-21 record on the road while managing only a 33-29 record at home.
The disparity runs deeper than just record. The Astros have managed to score 271 runs on the road while allowing only 224. On the road, the Astros have scored 341 runs and have allowed only 191.
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There is a lot of science and analytics behind why Minute Maid Park has seemingly become more and more pitcher-friendly in spite of being one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the game just a few years ago. Eno Sarris of The Athletic broke it down here (subscription required).
So, it kind of makes sense that the Astros have scored fewer runs because of all that but, 70 runs is quite the difference. However, if you follow that same logic, the Astros should be allowing fewer runs at home as well but, instead, they’ve allowed 33 more runs at home than on the road.
Adding it all up, the discrepancies simply don’t make sense and thus is baseball. Baseball consistently defies odds and does things that simply don’t make sense, good and bad. However, this doesn’t excuse the Houston Astros poor play at home.
If this team wishes to bring back another division pennant to Houston, they’ll need to figure out a way to play better and to win at home. They need to figure out how to hit better at home. They need to figure out how to pitch better at home. If they can simply improve this measure, it alone could be enough to push the Astros over the edge.
The Houston Astros not making the playoffs a year after winning the World Series would be a devasting blow to this organization. Here’s to hoping the team can execute on these three keys and make the playoffs and defend their championship.