This has been an odd season for the Tampa Bay Rays, to say the least. There have been multiple injuries, many poor performances, and some bad luck, and that has resulted in a supbar season in which the Rays currently see themselves 6 games under .500. But the oddest part of the season might be the difference in the Rays’ record at home and on the road.
The Rays, who normally dominate at Tropicana Field, have gone just 33-42 at home this season. That is good for a .440 winning percentage, which is 5th worst in the league at home. But, the Rays are actually an above .500 team on the road, with their record coming in at 36-33. Their .552 away winning percentage is good for 8th best in the league. If you want to find the last time the Rays were under .500 at home you have to go all the way back to the 2007 season, and the last time they were over .500 on the road was in 2012. Also, the last time that the Rays were better on the road than they were at home was way back in 1999, just their second year of existence.
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Here’s where it gets even crazier. At home the Rays have actually scored 14 more runs than they’ve allowed, yet their record is still 9 games under .500. On the contrary they have scored 6 less runs on the road than they’ve allowed, but they have still won 3 more games than they’ve lost.The Rays record at home and on the road has nothing to show for the fact that they’ve actually played better at home.
So what has caused this odd disparity? It seems that all we can attest it to is the randomness of baseball. In this case that the Rays have won more high-scoring games at Tropicana Field while losing the low-scoring ones, but they have won the low-scoring games and lost the high-scoring ones while playing away. Over the course of a few seasons that is likely to regulate itself, however a year is a relatively small sample size in baseball, and thus we have the craziness that has been the Rays’ season.