KC Royals: Why Do The Royals Play Differently On The Road?
By Bryon Parman
Does Kauffman Stadium Cause The Pitching Difference?
Now, you might say that Kauffman is a pitchers park, and to some degree it is. By “some degree” I mean that while it is harder to hit home runs at the K than some other band box parks. The K does allow a lot more doubles than other smaller parks do. The K also doesn’t have as much foul ground as parks like SF or Oakland so there are other factors than just dingers determining what is and isn’t a pitchers park.
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In any case, there is a stat known as “xFIP” which accounts for differences in ball park dimensions as well as typical wind speeds and direction, elevation etc as well as opponent quality. The KC Royals road xFIP is 4.65, (you can intemperate it like an ERA) while their home xFIP is 3.98. So even when adjusing for ball park, and defense, the Royals pitchers are simply just worse on the road than at home.
However, none of the above statistics really answers the question as to “Why?” the Royals are worse on the road. They only serve to make the case that they are in fact worse on the road and that there isn’t any park factor, or fly-ball factor explaining all the road futility.
One may be able to point to injuries a bit in terms of the offensive road/home spit discrepancy. Brett Eibner was unavailable during the last road trip and has been a key part of both the most recent home-stand, and the one before Eibner went on the disabled list. Eibner may not be the defender Jarrod Dyson is, but he certainly looks like a massive upgrade at the plate and with him, Paul “Ted Williams” Orlando, and Cain in the outfield, the offense is much better.
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