The Mets departed for a three-leg road trip last week feeling pretty good about themselves. They had won three straight and five of six, and found themselves winning tight games, a mark of a good team.
Predictably, things haven’t gone so well outside of New York. Terry Collins’s squad has lost road games in bunches and in myriad ways: close games, lopsided contests, games that were over early, and those that were blown by the bullpen.
Nearly halfway through the season, the Mets are one of three baseball teams that have proven to be really tough at home and eminently beatable on the road.
Here’s a closer look at each one.
New York Mets:
What makes the Mets such a great team for bettors is their consistency. If you wager on them at home and against them on the road on a regular basis, you rarely lose over weekly or monthly periods this season. While sportsbooks account for home field advantage, juice is only being adjusted per the “normal” home venue advantage (except in rare instances like the Seattle Seahawks renowned 12th Man or the Cameron Crazies at Duke).
However, this year’s Mets are certainly not normal.
New York began the year with six straight road games and came away with a solid split. They then came home and won 10 straight. After losing four of six on the road, the Mets split six home games. If you’re scoring at home, that means, a month into the season, New York was 13-3 at home and 5-7 on the road.
The trend continued.
The Mets went 2-5 on a seven-game trip to Philadelphia and Chicago and then bounced back with a 4-3 homestand against Milwaukee and St. Louis. After losing three in a row in Pittsburgh, New York went 4-2 when they returned to Citi Field. June began with a 3-4 trip to the west coast, a 5-3 mark against decent opposition at Citi, and the disastrous trip which is about to end.
In sum, from the start of the year until now, the Mets have played to form.
The data on the Reds is not as dramatic because they played equally mediocre at home and on the road for the first five weeks of the season. However, over the last month, Cincinnati has been just as predictable as the Mets, maybe even more so.
On May 19, the Reds started what would be a winless five-game road trip. After going 4-2 at home, which included a sweep of Washington, Cincinnati dropped two out of three to the dreadful Phillies. They returned home to win four of six (sweeping the Phils along the way). After a 2-4 trip to Chicago and Detroit, the Reds won three out of four at home. That’s 3-11 on the road and 11-5 at home, a decent sample size which tells us that the Reds are a team to play at home and fade on the road.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
And then there are the Dodgers. Regarded as one of the best teams in baseball, L.A. is elite playing at home. Interestingly, they aren’t even average on the road, posting the fewest road wins in the N.L. West. They aren’t as futile as the Mets, nor even the Reds, but with almost half a season in the books, numbers are more than flukes at this point.
Early in the season, the Dodgers were virtually impossible to beat at home and significantly below average on the road. Now they are very good at home and mediocre on the road. Like New York and Cincinnati, betting the Dodgers home/road splits over a week or two at a time appears to be a way to grind out positive results. (That said, the Dodgers are the weakest play on that front and may already be turning things around.)
Want a gift? This weekend the Mets host the Reds.
(Photo credit: slgckgc on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)