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WSU baseball road woes: In search of some answers

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So, I finally was able to finish working up the home/road team splits for the Cougs*, and I'm going to put them out here for you and just offer up some bullet point observations.

*The home splits exclude the first two games of the year, blowout wins over Seattle U. The Redhawks are a transitional D-I team (as in basketball) and are 8-34. They skewed the stats too much. Also, the road stats don't include Friday's game against Stanford.


R/G BA OBP SLG BABIP ISO HR/9 XBH% BB% K%
WSU at B-B 6.89 0.323 0.410 0.467 0.364 0.144 0.014 9.6% 8.0% 14.0%
WSU AWAY 5.05 0.253 0.333 0.379 0.309 0.126 0.020 7.3% 7.4% 21.8%

R/G BA OBP SLG BABIP ISO HR/9 XBH% BB% K%
OPP at B-B 5.32 0.281 0.398 0.421 0.323 0.140 0.023 7.6% 10.4% 16.6%
OPP AWAY 5.55 0.292 0.379 0.419 0.335 0.128 0.016 7.6% 8.0% 15.7%

I'm no expert sabermetrician, and don't pretend to draw any concrete answers from this, but I there are some things I notice immediately.

First, the pitching staff (bottom set of stats) performs roughly the same at home and on the road. The differences in stats are so small as to be considered insignificant. The same, obviously, can't be said for the offense. And that's an understatement. To have such dramatic differences between home and road is pretty crazy.

Why?

Well, BABIP (defined here if you're unfamiliar with that stat) that's 55 points lower on the road than at home isn't helping. It's been proven that fluctuations in BABIP are due mostly to luck, and that argument as it applies to the Cougs is further boosted by the fact that WSU's opponents have had a relatively consistent BABIP.

That's actually good news. Assuming the Cougs' true ability is closer to what they've gotten at home, they're simply due for some good luck on the road.

However, there's one stat in there that's disconcerting: That road strikeout percentage. That's a pretty significant jump, and I honestly have no clue how to explain it. I know that parks do affect strikeouts, but I have a hard time believing that big of a disparity can be chalked up to the park -- especially when, again, the other team has been fairly consistent under the same conditions. If someone has any ideas about why this team would strike out in nearly 7 percent more of its at bats on the road, I'm all ears.

The rest of it all looks pretty normal to me. Insights from you?

Also, this can serve as today's game thread, if you want. Game's at 2 p.m., and you might be able to find it on channelsurfing.net.