Monday, December 5, 2011

The Coors Field Hangover - Debunked (Part II)?

Last week I looked into whether a "hangover" effect existed after Rox returned from a road looking at both the offense and comparing this to what our pitchers (or the other offense) did.  Based on standard stats like hits, walks, strikeouts, on-base percentage, slugging, and BABIP, it would seem that whatever effect might exist, it effects both offenses (and pitchers) from both dugouts and that Rox are really not being penalized by returning home to altitude.  The only real visible effect was that as a homestand increases the Rox winning percentage increases although one can debate the statistical significance of the wins as homestands lasting 8 - 10 games are rare (38 times over the last 5 seasons).

Building on this data my next logical question might be is whether the length of the road trip (i.e. number of games played, not days) effects the same stats we looked at previously.  One has to wonder the longer the team travels and becomes accustomed to thicker air does the return to thin air matter?  In the period from 2007 - 2011 Rox returned from a road trip 59 times with a length ranging from 2 - 11 games with more than half being approximately 6 games or less.  In that period they had two 11 games trips.  In these 59 games, Rox won 33 games for a winning percentage of 0.559 versus a 0.576 winning percentage over those five years.  

The first graph simply graphs average number of hits, walks, and strikouts versus the length of the road trip.  No real significance or trends really on this data.  The only data point that might raise an eyebrow is that strikeouts tend to decrease upon returning home the longer the trip is (?).  Probably just small sample size...
Average number of hits, walks, and strikeout after returning  from X number of road trip games
The next graph shows the percentages.  Pretty consistent suggesting that road trip length really doesn't effect offense too much.
OBP, SLG, and BABIP after returning from X number of road trip games
The next graph is our offense versus our pitcher's performance against the length of the road trip.  Again the data for the most part mirors one another.  Our pitchers don't seem to care much about their loss of air and some bite on their pitches.  Strikouts again so some unusual trends but regardless of the road trip length the team coming into Coors to face our pitchers is perhaps at a bigger disadvantage because they might only come into Denver once a year?
Offense and Pitching differences after returning from X number of road trip games
Final graph is Rox winning percentage in those games after returning.   Basically just ho-hum and scattered data.  Being on the road doesn't seem to matter all that much...

Winning Percentage
Final little tidbit is what do the numbers look like when a team is either returning from the East or West Coasts?  Another peculiarity of the Rox is that they are the only team in the Mountain Time Zone (OK Arizona is there early in April).  Anyway it seems the Rox do a whole lot better flying East.  Or it could be Rox just hate California pitching and monstrous ballparks!

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