If you’ve been reading this site regularly, you know that the Mets have been a good offensive team on the road and quite the opposite at home. They’ve scored an average of 5.47 runs per game on the road, compared to 3.41 runs per game at Citi Field. And it’s not just the batters, as the pitchers have allowed 5.12 runs per game on the road and 3.64 runs per game at home. And the pitchers have been let down by their defense in Citi Field, as errors have led to 16 unearned runs. In their home park, Mets pitchers have a 2.81 ERA.

Citi Field has always been a slight pitcher’s park but this year it’s playing as an extreme one. Here’s how all 30 teams have done this year scoring runs home and away:

Team RPG Away RPG Home Difference
Mets 5.47 3.41 2.06
Padres 5.40 4.17 1.23
Twins 5.43 4.26 1.17
Rangers 5.30 4.37 0.93
Mariners 4.21 3.45 0.76
Pirates 4.05 3.29 0.76
Yankees 5.09 4.47 0.62
Giants 4.00 3.53 0.47
Red Sox 4.52 4.05 0.47
Tigers 4.20 3.90 0.30
Orioles 5.24 4.95 0.29
Reds 4.39 4.18 0.21
Nationals 4.18 4.00 0.18
Brewers 5.14 5.00 0.14
Blue Jays 3.73 3.61 0.12
Cardinals 3.43 3.35 0.08
Angels 4.18 4.11 0.07
Guardians 4.78 4.72 0.06
Braves 4.80 5.12 -0.32
Phillies 5.00 5.36 -0.36
Cubs 4.59 4.95 -0.36
D’Backs 4.82 5.21 -0.39
White Sox 2.70 3.10 -0.40
Marlins 3.37 3.96 -0.59
Rays 3.67 4.31 -0.64
Astros 4.14 4.79 -0.65
Royals 4.16 5.00 -0.84
Rockies 3.32 4.29 -0.97
Dodgers 4.63 5.74 -1.11
A’s 3.32 4.52 -1.20

These numbers are staggering! There’s no team in baseball – in either direction – that comes even remotely close in having such a wide difference between what they do at home and what they do on the road. The Mets lead the majors in runs per game in away games and they’re 27th in runs per game at home.

People are hesitant to believe that a home park could make that much difference. If it wasn’t happening to the Mets, it would be difficult for me to believe, too. But let’s see if we can isolate any other factors. How about quality of opponent? Here’s who the Mets have played both at home and away and we’ll compare the teams by their opponent’s ERA in overall games for simplicity. This is choosing expediency over completeness but hopefully it gives a reasonable estimate. Certainly, we’ll find out if they’re facing good pitching at home and worse on the road.

Home Games
3.93 – Brewers
3.41 – Tigers
3.42 – Royals
3.86 – Pirates
4.25 – Cardinals
3.81 – Cubs
3.47 – Braves

Away Games
4.03 – Reds
3.47 – Braves
3.17 – Dodgers
4.51 – Giants
4.43 – Rays
4.25 – Cardinals

Here we certainly see that they’ve played tougher teams at home then on the road, ERA-wise. But if we operate under the assumption that Citi Field is depressing runs in a significant fashion, we would expect that the teams that got to pitch in Citi Field would have a lower ERA than the ones that didn’t. So, let’s remove what the Mets did from their opponents and see what we get. For the two teams that they’ve played both at home and on the road, we’ll remove both numbers.

Brewers 148 328 4.06
Tigers 131 329.333 3.58
Royals 125 342 3.29
Pirates 139 339.333 3.69
Cardinals 151 307 4.43
Cubs 149 329.333 4.07
Braves 96 278.33 3.10
Total 939 2253.329 3.75
Reds 147 325.666 4.06
Braves 96 278.333 3.10
Dodgers 121 350.333 3.11
Giants 172 338 4.58
Rays 168 339.666 4.45
Cardinals 151 307 4.43
Total 855 1938.998 3.97

So, fewer than a quarter of a run difference in ERA between home and road opponents. That closes the gap some but it’s still an overwhelming difference between what the Mets are producing at home and on the road this year.

In Part II, which will be posted later today, we’ll look at the individual pitchers the Mets have faced this year.

8 comments on “Part I: Home/Road differentials for the Mets

  • Jimmy P

    For such a stat-focused site, I’m surprised you don’t give small sample size more credence. This means nothing to me. Why are you only looking at 2024?

    • Brian Joura

      If you truly want information like that, instead of just being dismissive at a perceived easy chance, B-R has 3-year park factors that you can look up very easily.

      But my focus here is specifically on 2024 and what we’ve witnessed so far to date. I find what’s going on here to be very interesting. It’s fine if you don’t.

  • NYM6986

    While they score less runs at home they are only a few games under .500 at Citifield which further clouds the issue of away versus home scoring. I hope they are done tinkering with moving walls around and will try to play more small ball at home. It couldn’t hurt.

    • Brian Joura

      I second your notion to stop tinkering with the outfield dimensions

  • T.J.

    Interesting. Certainly small sample with only 25% of the season complete, but not immaterial. Runs are the ultimate offensive stat, but those road runs per game are assisted by the 16 run game in Atlanta. Before last night, the Mets had the worst home OPS in baseball, barely over .600. That basically means they perform worse than Galvis at home…more Buddy Harrelson…as a team!

    I give them credit for hanging tough, the Nimmo win last night was huge psychologically and record wise. But, hitting like that at home is not going to help attendance, the buzz at the ballpark, and overall interest in the season, except by the most hardcore of us. Mostly so far, the Citifield games are tough to watch.

    • Brian Joura

      I’m not sure how fair it is to mention one outlier in one direction and believe this refutes the premise.

      If you take away the one biggest outlier in each direction, we see the Mets have scored 66 runs in 20 home games, for a 3.3 rpg average. And in road games, it’s a 5.13 rpg average. That 1.83 difference is still significantly larger than any other team in MLB.

      • T.J.

        It’s definitely borderline fair, it may merit a replay review.

        • Brian Joura

          That’s certainly an interesting definition of borderline. If a team was foolish enough to challenge, we’d have the quickest replay ever.

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