Every baseball season has a narrative and this year’s is about a team that simply cannot win on the road.
When you dig into why, there are no easy answers. It’s not like they leave their bats at home, or the pitchers all develop Scheppersitis once they get on an airplane.
What’s weird, and frustrating, is that their numbers aren’t that different at home and on the road.
At home, they hit .253, with a .334 on-base percentage, and score an average of six runs per game, the best in the American League.
On the road, they hit .253, with an OBP of .332, and average five runs per game.
At home, their ERA is 4.75 and they give up an average of 5.2 runs per game.
On the road, their ERA is the worst in all of baseball, 5.39. They give up an average of 5.6 runs per game.
Other than the ERA, the numbers are pretty close pitching-wise as well.
So why can’t this team win on the road. Why is it 8-18 after last night’s frustrating 6-2 loss in Seattle?
And why is this team the opposite at home, 17-8?
If you look into individual numbers, it’s easy to spot.
This team wins and loses on the bat of Joey Gallo. His home and road splits are proof.
Gallo at home: .364 AVG, .479 OBP, 1.284 OPS
Gallo on the road: :198 AVG, .375 OBP, ,869 OPS
Most everyone else has the typical splits you’d imagine. Slightly better at home. Andrus, Santana, and Forsythe, in fact, are actually hitting better on the road. Cabrera disappears on the road.
But Gallo’s home/road splits are dramatic. Is that why the Rangers home/road splits are as well?
At home, Gallo is a legitimate threat. His presence in the lineup changes everything. On the road, he’s not.
Take away that intimidation factor, and you emasculate the lineup.
Gallo is the engine of this offense. When your engine breaks down on the road, it ruins the entire trip.
Jesse Chavez (0-1, 4.55) vs. Marco Gonzalez (5-4, 3.41)
Game time: 9:10