I have MLB.tv. Living in Montgomery, Alabama it’s a near essential if I want to follow the Mariners and consistently see their games. However, the subscription that I have only allows me to pull the home teams feed. This usually isn’t a problem unless we play the White Sox, but last night a member of the Rangers announcing crew, Tom Grieve, made the statement that “arguably” anyone in the Rangers line-up could really hit clean-up for the Mariners.
I was extremely taken back by this comment as it should pure disregard for any of the players in the Mariner line-up as well as it was one of the most homeristic (yes I made that word up) comments I’ve heard said all year.
As many people would point out the Mariners offense has been rather poor. The team is currently posting a wRC+ of 77 meaning that they are a 23% below the average offense, which is quiet sad and gut wrenching if your a Mariners fan.
Now that said the Rangers have an obviously better line-up than the Mariners. The normal fan probably wouldn’t be surprised that I said the Rangers line-up is 13% better than the average offense (113 wRC+) which is currently third in all of baseball behind the Yankees and the Red Sox.
That said it’s funny how playing with a few splits reviles some interesting details.
As some people understand, others less so, no two places are the same. There are different factors to examine for every situation and variable circumstances that can influence outcomes. As such the there are significant differences in “park factors” between the Mariners and Rangers. It’s common knowledge the Mariners home, Safeco Field, is widely considered to be a pitchers ball park. Likewise, the Ballpark in Arlington is considered to be friendly to hitters.
So if we were to remove these variables (home field) for advantages or disadvantages what would be the out come on said line-ups?
While the Mariners team only moves up a percentage point (78 wRC+) they are no longer in last place (thank you Rockies). Other than that it’s a rather insignificant factor on the team as a whole. Looking at the Rangers they fall a whole 20% (93 wRC+) and into the middle of the rest of the league.
Looking at players with at least 50 plat appearances on the road for their respective teams. Here are the best 5 players from each team.
|Mike Carp||74||161||Mike Napoli||125||167|
|Dustin Ackley||101||135||Josh Hamilton||160||127|
|Jack Cust||109||109||Endy Chavez||96||126|
|Brendan Ryan||212||102||Michael Young||234||112|
|Miguel Olivo||201||91||Elvis Andrus||224||99|
Yes, there are the normal sample size caveats that apply but the general point is that while the Mariners have been a poor offensive team they do have guys in the line-up that can hit comparable to the Rangers away from their park.