Monday, September 19, 2005

IsoPow? bang-zoom...


During the Nats' halcyon days of late June, I noted that our boys enjoyed a tremendous advantage in peripheral stats at RFK Stadium. More than anything else, I figured this advantage contributed to some sparkling home field play:


So far, the Nats' opponents haven't really adapted to RFK, and as a result, every home game is a feast day for the Good Guys. Opponents are slightly less patient than the Nats at RFK, but their batting average is way down and their isolated power is half-a-man short.To reinforce the point one last time, let's see the side-by-side comparison of RFK-based figures, with Washington's listed first:



Who  IsoPat IsoPow
Nats .081 .141
Opp .074 .091

In short, this is a tremendous home field advantage for the Nats; thus, it of course comes as no surprise that Washington's 27-10 at home with a 2.86 staff ERA.

Let's review for a moment: A FIFTY POINT ADVANTAGE IN ISOLATED POWER! I don't know what that really means, but it sounds pretty good!

The effect was caused by several factors. In that post, I pointed out a "smarter" approach the Nats' hitters adopted at home. In addition, the pitchers were healthy, lucky, and probably lucky another time over. (The pitching staff is heavily flyball-inclined---a 1.04 G/F ratio, as opposed to an NL average of 1.26---and that inclination is not as severely punished in a vast crater like RFK.)

The Nats are 13-22 at home since then (and the home ERA has risen to 3.43), and as you might expect, the gap in the peripheral stats has closed. Well, that's half-right, actually: the gap in "Isolated Patience" (OPB-BA) has grown ever-so-slightly (though Nats' batters have been less patient since that earlier report), but the "Isolated Power" (SLG-BA) advantage has narrowed considerably:



Who  IsoPat IsoPow
Nats .079 .128
Opp .069 .115


To put it simply, RFK Stadium isn't the advantage for the Nats that it was back in the good old days of bouncy seats and "Bang! Zoom!" and an indomitable bullpen. But then, I guess we already knew that by now.

Comments:
What's the splits over the 13-22 stretch. I bet we're actually losing in isoOBP over that time.
 
I don't know precisely what the splits are in the 13-22 stretch. I'm using Baseball Direct's data, which is only a season-long profile.

It is clear that IsoOBP ("IsoPat") advantage has widened a smidge in the 13-22 stretch, but that's only because the opposition has been slightly less selective than the Nats have been.

The big factor, though, is the "IsoPow" advantage, which has been reduced by, what, 67%---from .050 back then to .013 now, which means the opposition's been slugging the heck out of us in home games since the ASB and has turned a huge advantage (commensurate with a 27-10 record) into a comparatively slight advantage (more commensurate with a 40-32 overall home record).

That .050 figure was way, way, way, below the NL average at the time and looked like at least part a fluke, even considering RFK's powerless properties. It seems that's been the case.
 
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