The Rangers sucked on the road. There is no gentler way to put it.
The road was hell for the Texas Rangers in 2017. They are going to finish dead last in the American League with a road batting average of .224, and a road on-base percentage of .293. The only Rangers team worse than this one on the road was the very first one in 1972.
They have come full circle.
Away from Arlington, the Rangers stunk. Every opposing fan who witnessed a Rangers game in their own home park should demand a refund because they did not see a major league opponent.
What we just witnessed was testimony to that. According to T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers hit just .185 in their nine games in Oakland in 2017, the third lowest ever by an Oakland opponent. They scored just nineteen runs in those nine games, the seventh fewest ever by an opponent in the Coliseum.
Almost everyone was the culprit. Even beloved Adrian Beltre was a totally different hitter on the road this year. At home, he was a first-ballot-Hall-of-Fame-level hitter (a .443 on-base percentage!); on the road, a merely good hitter (.333 on-base).
So pitiful was Rougned Odor away from Arlington that he should have never been given a road at-bat. His road on-base percentage was .208. Eighty-six pitchers in 2017 have a better on-base percentage than .208. Eighty-six pitchers. Eighty-six. He was the proverbial automatic out.
For a team that holds sabermetrics as sacrosanct as the Rangers, you can’t help but wonder how they could have ignored such a glaring, gaping .208 blackhole for 81 games. There are services one can call for dead animal roadkill removal.
Only a few players were immune from road carnage. In what was the best offensive season of his career, Elvis Andrus was almost identically brilliant at home as he was on the road. He was the one hitter you could count on anywhere, anytime. Shin-Soo Choo was better at home, but not that much. Joey Gallo was slightly better on the road. Slightly. And Mike Napoli was the same both places. Inept. He hit .188 at the Ballpark, and .198 everywhere else.
But from there, it gets ugly. Here are the Rangers road/home splits (AVG, OBP, OPS). Due to Child Protective Services laws, do not view the following in the vicinity of innocent children.
Home: .268, .392, .961
Away: .244, .335, .795
Home: .246, .296, .784
Away: .168, .208, .532
Home: .333, .412, .871
Away: .216, .290, .576
Home: .302, .372, .954
Away: .216, .317, .675
Home: .307, .381, .893
Away: .206, .276, .636
Home: .361, .443, 1.040
Away: .271, .333, .823
Oh, that second wild card slot the Rangers are so desperately clinging to? They would play that game on the road.
Collin McHugh (3-2, 3.44) vs. Andrew Cashner (10-10, 3.44)
Game time: 7:05
How the Astros hit against Cashner.
ow the Rangers hit against McHugh.