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« Price's Fastball Priceless | Main | Reynolds Pulling »
Sunday
Aug282011

Lewis's Home Field Disadvantage

Colby Lewis of the Texas Rangers allowed twice as many home runs at home than on the road so far in 2011.  Is the park really that much of a disadvantage to Lewis, or does his pitching approach hurt him there.

What's clear is that balls travel farther in Texas.  The following graph shows his distribution of fly balls by distance on the road:

Colby Lewis, fly ball distance and slugging percentage, away games, 2011.

Note that his fly ball distance peaks at around 260 feet and falls off from there.  Note, also, that on the road even his deep fly balls don't always produce that much power.

At home, things look a little different.

Colby Lewis, fly ball distance and slugging percentage, home games, 2011.There's a huge peak at 330 feet, and the number of fly balls from 360 to 400 feet is much higher than on the road.  In addition, those long flies in Arlington produce a ton of power.  Not many of those get caught.

The park effect also shows up in where batters connect for home runs in the strike zone.  In away games, they tend to take pitches down out of the park:

Cobly Lewis, pitch frequency on HR, away games, 2011.At home, homers come on higher pitches:

Cobly Lewis, pitch frequency on HR, home games, 2011.At home, 14 of his 20 home runs allowed came on various fastballs.  On the road, five of his ten home runs came on off-speed pitches.  He allowed three home runs on change ups on the road, none at home.  It seems that at home, the high fastballs carry better than on the road.  His hard pitches, which produce a .201/.259/.341 slash line away land him a .264/.331/.608 line at home.  It's the stadium, not the pitcher.

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