Staff writer Alex Conway runs his weekly notes post on all of his thoughts about the past week of Orioles Baseball.
Rather than focus on a player/multiple players from the last week–honestly because there were not that many games–this post will cover the past month. In particular, how putrid the Orioles offense has been at home. It is simply astonishing how bad the offense has been in Camden Yards. It is all the more surprising considering that Orioles Park is a hitter friendly stadium. The Orioles played 10 games at home and 13 on the road in April and the splits are simply amazing.
All statistics are from April
Starting off with the traditional statistics, the Orioles are batting .220 at Home, good for 5th lowest home batting average in the MLB. They have scored 28 runs at home which is last in the majors by 5 runs. They have only 5 home runs at home which is one more than Royals have at home. This all is compared to a .299 batting average on the road (1st in the MLB), 80 runs scored (3rd), and 12 home runs (12th). The dearth of home runs at home is particularly surprising considering the homer haven that is Camden Yards. Finally, the Orioles are boasting a .819 road OPS (3rd highest) and a shockingly abysmally low .573 OPS at home (DEAD FREAKING LAST).
The more advanced statistics paint an even worse picture for the Orioles’ home splits this year. As a team thus far in 2014, the Orioles in Camden Yards have a wRC+ of 54; 100 is average. To put that in context and the next closest team–The Mets which play in a pitcher sanctuary–have a wRC+ of 64. Further down the rabbit hole of offensive ineptitude, the Orioles have a home wOBA of .259 which is also dead last in the majors for home wOBA (the Mariners are the next closet team who also play in a pitcher friendly park). One completely weird and interesting split thus far has been the walk rate. The Orioles walk rate on the road is 8.2% which is 15th in the MLB for road walk rate. However, their home walk rate is again last and a full 4 percentage points lower than their road walk rate and 2 percentage points lower than the next lowest team has at home. Lastly, to further illustrate the absurdity of how bad the Offense has been at Camden Yards (last one before a sliver of hope is offered)–the Orioles have posted a .086 ISO at home this season. That is last in the MLB by a full 22 points.
For some more context, last season the Orioles by wOBA had the fifth best home offense in the MLB. The complete offensive shortfall to date at home this season has been caused by multiple reasons. First and foremost, the homers have not been coming. The HR/FB% is second to last in the MLB at 4.7%. That will not stay the same because of the park the Orioles play their home games. Camden Yards is a hitter friendly and homer friendly stadium. That number is going to rise and as that goes up; the total offensive output will rise at home. Furthermore, the offense has .273 BABIP (Batting Average of in Play) at home which is near the bottom of the league while still maintaining an average Line Drive rate and a below average Ground Ball rate. Therefore, they are hitting the ball hard enough, but in the wrong places. This should eventually correct itself and more hits should fall in.
So the future should bode better than the current actuality, but wow has it been bad thus far. The coming weeks should (hopefully, cause UGH is this tough to watch so far) bring some positive regression to the mean and more runs for the Orioles at Camden Yards.