Tampa Bay Rays: Home Field Advantage?

Apr 2, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of Tropicana Field as fans enter for Opening Day between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays . Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of Tropicana Field as fans enter for Opening Day between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays . Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

With the first month of the season officially in the books, let’s take a look at the overall record of the Tampa Bay Rays.

After a promising start, the Tampa Bay Rays are turning into the same disappointing team they had in 2016.  Currently with a record of 12-14 heading into yesterday’s action, they are only above the struggling Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East.  Yes, the same Toronto team that just won the weekend series against the Rays.

There have been a number of Rays games this season that have been lost because of  minor mistakes and that all comes down to fundamentals.  Once things are cleaned up they should be able to turn things around and also with players such as Jake Odorizzi and Colby Rasmus coming back into the lineup this week they will start to have a stronger roster.

Now lets take a further look at the Rays record.  It’s crazy to think the Rays have a home field advantage, but the stats don’t lie.  Currently the Rays have a home record of 9-4 which gives them a home field winning percentage of 69%.  If the Rays played every game at home this season they would have a record of 112-50 if things continued the way that they have been going so far.  112 wins would be an MLB record and that would give them the first seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Rays are struggling away from Tropicana Field.  Their current away record is 3-10, which is a winning percentage of only 23%.  So out of their 12 wins, 75% of them have come at home, while only 25% of them have come on the road.  The Rays have never had a home field advantage because of the lack of fans, but for some reason this season is different so far.

More from Rays Colored Glasses

Against the­­­ Detroit Tigers the home fans helped by yelling “I got it” which helped the Rays win that game because one of their outfielders dropped a routine out.  Other than that, one of the stadiums with the lowest attendance of only 16,761 fans per game (which is barely ahead of last place Oakland) wouldn’t make a difference.

So maybe the white roof and catwalks are helping the Rays out because they are the only team with those.  Or maybe it is the new turf that the Rays added in the off season.  Whatever it is it seems to be working so hopefully the success at home can continue throughout the season and maybe even into the playoffs.

After coming off of one of the hardest schedules in the MLB for the month of April with a record of just under .500 the Rays seem to be in good shape from here on out.  The schedule is much easier now and key players are starting to return.

Also the Rays have had some players step up as they are in the top ten in multiple statistical categories.  Some of the players that have exceeded expectations this season so far are Steven Souza, Corey Dickerson, and Chase Whitley.

Souza has shown improved defense with great catches and also an improved batting average of .313 which is up from the .247 he had last season.  Dickerson slimmed down this off season and that seems to be helping, as he has improved on defense when he plays in the field and he already has six home runs to go along with his batting average of .326.

Whitley has been stellar after he was brought up from the minors; over 10.2 innings pitched he has an ERA of 0.00 and has only allowed 3 hits.  As a team, the Rays are 9th in the MLB in home runs and the pitching staff is 6th in the MLB in ERA. In the right circumstances, that can be a winning formula.

Next: Rays activate Colby Rasmus

The Tampa Bay Rays have found a winning formula at home. Now, they need to figure things out on the road.