Why Can’t the Houston Astros Win on the Road?

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On-Base Percentage

Sep 13, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Houston Astros right fielder

George Springer

(4) rounds the bases after hitting a triple in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Astros won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Every team since 2008 that has posted their league’s worst road record has been in the bottom half of major league baseball in team on-base percentage except two — The 2012 Cleveland Indians (11th) and the 2014 Colorado Rockies (4th). But we are ignoring the Rockies because their offensive numbers are always great as a result of Coors Field and are not necessarily indicative of the kind of offense they actually have. Of the 16 teams I looked at, 12 were bottom 10 in the majors in on-base percentage.

The 2015 Astros are 21st.

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Now we’re breaking critical ground here. You have to get guys on base to score runs and win games. Yeah. Really. It’s right up there with “the team that scores the most points will win.”

But even on this very basic notion the Astros picture is out of whack with the other teams that could not win on the road. The Astros are much higher than the other teams in runs scored (9th) and abnormally high on home runs  (2nd) and OPS (7th). One might be inclined to say they are actually okay on this front, but they are leaving so many runs on the field.

Houston is 12th in the majors in walks, but 26th in batting average and 2nd in strikeouts. Simply put, they do not have guys that can put the bat on the ball. When they do, they hit it far, but they don’t do it with nearly enough frequency.

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