Is playing well on the road an important element for success in major league baseball? If you look at the numbers, the answer is “Yes.”
A team that plays well on the road takes a big step towards the playoffs each year. Following are some stats that help make this point:
- Of the 92 MLB teams that made the playoffs in the last 10 years (2008-17), 69 of them played above .500 in road games that season. Six actually played above .600 in away games that year they made the playoffs. Two of last year’s playoffs teams, Cleveland and Houston, each had a .654 winning percentage on the road, the highest of any of the 92 playoffs teams in the last 10 seasons. The worst road winning percentage of a playoff team in the last 10 years? The 2015 Astros who had a .407 road winning percentage that year when they made the playoffs.
- Of the 10 teams that won the World Series from 2008-17, all had a road winning percentage of .531 or better in the year they won the title.
- Of the 109 teams that won the World Series in baseball history, a staggering 103 of them played above .500 on the road in the year they won the championship. In fact, 39 of those 109 champs had a winning percentage above .600 that championship season. Of the 109 champs, the 1939 New York Yankees had the best road winning percentage at .730; the worst road winning percentage of a team winning the World Series was .358 by the 1987 Minnesota Twins.
- Of all non-playoff teams in baseball history, the 1909 Chicago Cubs had the best road winning percentage at .740. Since 1970, there have been 12 teams that had a road winning percentage above .600 that did not make the playoffs that year. Four of those teams were from 1994 when the playoffs were cancelled due to a players’ strike.
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