The Miami Marlins are currently 11-4 at home but only 2-10 on the road, which has placed them in last place in the National League East.
It's not uncommon for teams to have a better record at home than on the road but the disparity for the Marlins is eye-opening and downright odd. When playing at Marlins Park, the Marlins look like arguably one of the best teams in baseball. Their record in fact would confirm that opinion as they have the most wins in all of Major League Baseball at home.
When Miami packs their bags for a road trip however, they start to resemble a AAA team and they currently have the least wins in all of MLB on the road. Figuring out the home/road splits for the Marlins is a task that will elude most people.
The Marlins are simply playing better baseball at home and that goes for both sides of the field. The pitching and offense take things up to another level at the friendly confines of Marlins Park. The offense takes it up a few levels in fact and looks almost like a different set of hitters.
Is it the spaciousness of the home field that the Marlins are taking advantage of? Perhaps, but the field did not get any bigger than it was in 2013. The big field is also there for opposing teams, so the tremendous difference at home and on the road in terms of win total is still difficult to understand.
There is one eye-opening statistic in terms of offense for the Marlins amongst many that can be sorted and analyzed for hours at MLB.com. At home, they lead MLB in runs scored. On the road, they are last in runs scored in all of MLB. It's the same lineup in both places but the team goes from first to worst in that category when they put their gray pants on.
It is difficult if not impossible to explain that differential and it's also one that is almost guaranteed to even out some as the season progresses. The crazy difference isn't in only runs scored for the offense. As for hits, Miami is tied for first at home and 27th of 30 on the road. A check across other areas such as OPS, SLG, 2B and more will show similar results. The same lineup produces extremely different results at home and on the road.
Pitching wise, there is a difference as well with the Marlins sitting in 5th in team E.R.A at home and 24th on the road. Once again, scrolling past various statistical categories will show more of the same. The pitchers are keeping the team in games at home a lot more often than they are on the road. That coupled with the reduced offense shows why the win totals are the way they are. It is again difficult to comprehend however why the same pitching staff looks vastly different when away from their home park.
There is no simple answer for this phenomenon but the Marlins will need to take advantage of every home game they have for the time being. Without wins at home, the team could find themselves buried by an extended road trip such as the one coming up next week. An 11-game road trip is always tough but for this squad, it is a potential disaster waiting to happen.