Sep 27, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays players salute fans in the third inning of their final regular season home game against Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays are just days away from glory. For the first time in 22 years, playoff baseball will be played by Canada’s only team. Until the season ends, this club should be giving everything they have in each contest in order to secure home field advantage. In the playoffs, this can be a huge difference maker.
Much has been made about just how important it is for the Blue Jays. The fan base alone provides a huge boost for the home team. But, in looking at the other potential playoff teams, we get the sense that home field advantage just might be more important than we thought. So, let’s look at just how much of an advantage Rogers Centre has provided in 2015. Before we do, we should also note the “small sample size” argument is obvious. But, this is just a quick look at the 2015 results, so you can take it for what it is worth.
Toronto Blue Jays
Before we get to the visitors, we should probably check in with the home team to emphasize just how much of an advantage Rogers Centre is for them. All numbers are courtesy of BaseballReference.com. At home, they are hitting .278/.351/.485 with 450 of their 857 runs scored. Now, they’ve played more games at home up to this point, but the numbers are still valid since the difference is not obscene. They’ve shown more patience at home with 46 more walks and nearly 60 fewer strike outs. They’ve also hit 23 more home runs at home and nearly 50 more doubles.
Pitching at home has certainly been a benefit for the Blue Jays. Their home record is 53-28 with an ERA of 3.22. Away from home, they have a 38-37 mark. They’ve given up nearly 50 fewer runs at home, too. Their home WHIP is 1.102, while it sits at 1.335 on the road. They are walking more and striking out fewer batters on the road. So, Blue Jays fans are hoping that they can get as much home pitching as possible.
A combination of better hitting and pitching certainly hints at an advantage at home for the Blue Jays. But, it is only an advantage of the visiting teams are not enjoying the same level of success. So, we’ll look at the likely American League playoff teams and how they’ve performed at Rogers Centre this year.
Next: The Royals Not So Regal at Rogers Centre