Fantasy Baseball: Sweet Home Colorado
After their current series in Washington, the Colorado Rockies will play 26 of their remaining 41 games at hitter-friendly Coors Field, including, as Yahoo!’s Andy Behrens points out, 17 out of 20 at home starting Friday. For some Rockies, playing at home could earn them a place in your lineup when they might otherwise not be on your roster. Some decent Rockies become stars at home.
But not every Rockie has a big home-road split. And for some Colorado players, it might matter more whether the pitcher is a lefthander.
The most extreme home-road split on the Rockies belongs to Troy Tulowitzki (pictured). Colorado’s shortstop has an OPS of 1.029 at home and only .778 at home, a 251-point difference.
At Coors Field, Tulowitzki is hitting .303 with 15 homers, 42 RBI, 42 runs and six steals in 185 at bats.
Tulowitzki’s home stats compare favorably to the top shortstop, Florida’s Hanley Ramirez, who has a home OPS of 1.025 with a .342 BA, 15 homers, 55 RBI, 45 runs and nine steals in 240 AB, a third more AB than Tulowitzki has.
But what elevates Ramirez into the top couple of players in all of fantasy is that he is almost as good on the road, with a .948 OPS. Ramirez’ power drops away from Florida, but he makes up for it with a .380 BA and a .437 OBP.
Along with his .778 road OPS, Tulowitzki is batting only .248 with eight homers and 21 RBI in 210 AB away from Coors.
Tulowitzki’s road stats compare to the home stats of another shortstop: .243 BA, six homers, 21 RBI in 173 AB. That shortstop, Milwaukee’s J.J. Hardy, was recently sent to the minors.
So as good a season as Tulowitzki is having, you actually might have better alternatives when he is on the road.
Another Rockie with a strong home-road split is infielder Clint Barmes, who has been Colorado’s primary second baseman this year, but is also eligible at SS and 3B in Yahoo!
Barmes has an OPS at home of .875, which is 206 points higher than his .669 road OPS.
Yahoo! points out that, despite Barmes’ home run in Washington Tuesday night, he is only 7-for-66 on the road since July 16 for a BA of .106.
Considering Barmes is only hitting .167 overall since the All-Star break, you may want to avoid him altogether, but if you are desperate for infield help, you can give Barmes a shot in his home park:
Barmes at home: .286 BA, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 34 runs, 6 steals, 185 AB
Barmes on road: .219 BA, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 26 runs, 3 steals, 224 AB
Rockies’ catcher Chris Iannetta is only hitting .211 since the All-Star break, but his home-road OPS split (.883-.700) suggests that he could regain value on the coming home stand.:
Iannetta at home: .283 BA, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 21 runs, 113 AB
Iannetta on road: .178 BA, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 15 runs, 135 AB
By the way, Iannetta has an even bigger advantage against lefthanded pitchers – his OPS is .924 against lefties compared to .736 against righties.
Lefthanded hitters Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe also have a much bigger split when it comes to pitchers compared to home/road.
Helton has an OPS of .957 at home vs. .834 on the road. But his lefty-righty split is more than twice as wide – .981 against righthanded pitching but only .690 against lefties.
Hawpe’s home OPS is .978, while his OPS on the road is .881. But his OPS against righties is .970, while it is .805 against lefties.
While it is hard to find a Rockie hitter who does not do better at home, some have much more modest splits:
Carlos Gonzalez: Home OPS .876; Road OPS .849; Difference .027
Garrett Atkins: Home OPS .679; Road OPS .635; Difference .044
Ian Stewart: Home OPS 824; Road OPS .773; Difference .051
While Atkins has been a bust both at home and on the road, he has started to get more playing time at third at the expense of Stewart. But even if manager Jim Tracy is playing the righthanded Atkins against more than only lefthanded pitchers, bear in mind that Atkins’ OPS against lefties is .827, while his OPS against righties is a miniscule .553.
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Photo by Made in Copenhagen.
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