The Texas Rangers are 18-9 at home and 9-15 on the road this season, including tonight's win over the Chicago White Sox. Obviously, teams are generally better at home than on the road, but the Rangers hold the biggest negative split in wins between home and road games in the AL with nine.
Is this because the Rangers are just really comfortable at home and lose their mojo on the road?
I don't think that is the whole story. Looking deeper into the schedule thus far, the severe split in winning percentage might be due to more than just playing away from the comforts of home.
So far, out of the 27 games played at home, only 10 of those games were against teams over .500. The Rangers put up a 5-5 record against those teams, meaning that they have gone 13-4 against teams under .500 at home.
Looking on the road, the story is basically reversed. Of the 24 away games that the Rangers have played this season, 15 have been played against teams above .500, including 12 games against teams at least seven games over .500.
In those contests, the Rangers put up a horrendous 2-13 record. That means in the remaining nine away games, Texas put up a record of 7-2.
As you can see, it's not just about road and home games for the Rangers. The fact is that they just aren't performing well against the big dogs of the AL. Their 2-13 road record against the Red Sox, Yankees, A's, Twins, and Blue Jays is ridiculously bad and is proof that this team has to improve against quality opponents, no matter the venue.
It is a good thing that the Rangers are beating up on inferior opponents this season (20-6 against teams below .500), because that was something this team had struggled with in past seasons. Now that they have that under control, it is time for them to start proving that they can hang with the big boys.
Looking further into the home and road records show that the Rangers aren't a horribly bad road team, they are just running into some really tough opponents on the road.
Can they improve their play at home against good teams?
We'll get a good chance to see how this team performs at home against a good team as the Tampa Bay Rays come into town for a three-game weekend series starting on Friday. After that, the Rangers only face one team with a current record over .500 (Florida, who stands at 27-26) until the All-Star break.
Looking ahead, Texas needs to start padding a lead in the AL West because their schedule after the All-Star break is quite treacherous.
Can they solve their woes against tough teams between now and then?