So the question has been asked a few times now, so I have decided to let everyone in on this not-so-little-known “secret” to why the Braves are having a hard time winning games on the road.
The fact that they are struggling in the win-loss column is no secret, seeing as their home record (25-11) stands well over the .500 mark, while the record on the road is 18-22. Now I am by no means a sabermetrician in any facet of the word, but the numbers do talk here and if you have seen this team on the road, you know they can be disappointing.
I have heard the grumbles that the Braves aren’t getting it done with the bats on the road, and for part of the statement, it’s true. The Braves have scored 4 less runs in 194 more innings played on the road. However, as they should with more time played, the Braves have more hits, doubles, triples, and home runs than they do at the “Ted.” Also the slash line away (.236/.309/.392) doesn’t really show that they are swinging THAT much worse than their home line (.246/.328/.407). The away differences are just .10 lower in batting average, .19 lower in on-base percentage, and .15 lower in slugging.
Aside from the current series (we can’t hit), the trouble for the team is the pitching. At home, the pitching has been pretty darn good. The entire staff holds a 2.44 ERA while giving up just 265 hits and 89 runs in 328 innings pitched. They also have a 1.04 WHIP and allow hitters to slash .219/.270/.329 while in their friendly confines.
The real trouble comes when the Braves are away from home. The first number, which isn’t terrible, but not up to the home field standards is the ERA on the road which stands as a reasonable 3.92 for the staff. That number stands around the middle of the field when compared to other teams in the NL on the road. The thing that really shows me what is going wrong is the opponent batting average against, on-base percentage, and slugging. At home, the pitching is great, but away the opponent slash is .259/.324/.416. That means teams are hitting 40 points higher in average, on-base is 54 points higher, and teams are slugging 87 points higher against Braves pitching in their own stadiums.
The numbers keep going: teams are scoring 54 more runs, the Braves staff’s strikeout per 9 inning game average is 1.44 strikeouts lower than at home, and the Braves have walked 36 more men in just 3 more games away from Turner Field.
While the 18-22 away record is not where the Braves would like it, there are 20 other MLB teams that have worse records away from their home stadium. However, if the staff doesn’t start pitching better than they have, the record could fall farther below the .500 mark and cause trouble when the Braves head into the second half of the season…and possibly the playoffs