Why the A’s haven’t won on the road

Posted By on April 5, 2011 9:36 am

Both Susan Slusser and Joe Stiglich wrote stories today on why the A’s haven’t been able to win on the road over the past couple years.

The reason is really pretty obvious. It’s because the A’s haven’t had any power.

The Coliseum is a lousy home run ballpark for everyone, so it minimizes the A’s disadvantage of not having any power hitters. However, when they go to more netural parks on the road, suddenly their opponents can hit homers, and the A’s still can’t.

Here are the numbers, for 2009 and 2010, combined:

  HRs HRs allowed Ratio
Home 117 131 .89
Road 127 178 .71

That seems like a pretty big gap to me. At the Coliseum the A’s hit 89 percent as many homers as their opponents, but on the road they hit only 71 percent as many. So that’s a lot of extra homers they are allowing.

Now, their hope for fixing that this year is not that they can suddenly start allowing fewer homers on the road. It’s that they will hit more. Although they’ve only added two real power hitters, Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui, that’s better than nothing. If they shrink that HR gap on the road by about half, that should help them at least be more presentable on the road.

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