Pitching and Home Field Advantage
Todd takes a look at a pitcher's skills at home and on the road
Last time we took a look at a hitter's improved skills playing at home versus playing on the road. With apologies for the rather large data dump, let's cut to the chase and do the same for starting pitchers.
Like hitters, starting pitchers enjoy an advantage in their home digs. Everything you'd expect to happen indeed occurs. At home starting pitchers exhibit lower ERAs, fan more, walk fewer, surrender fewer hits (and homers), go deeper into games and have a better chance for a win.
Some sites have roster spots for closers so here's the data for saves.
Interesting - a greater percentage of saves occur on the road despite a greater percentage of wins happening at home. One reason is home closers cannot get saves if the game is tied in the ninth. But it also must be that road contests have more games that afford a save situation, which actually makes intuitive sense. This is a story for another day but this data may make you think twice if your usual ploy is to select the closer corresponding to one of your starting pitchers.
Most DFS sites score innings (or outs), earned runs, hits, strikeouts, walks and wins with some including losses and saves. Here's a condensed table showing the average increase/decrease for each using data from 2011-2013.
Just like with hitters, this data is incorporated into the Fantasy Alarm Projection and Pricing Tool, adjusting the pitcher's neutral projection before applying the park factor to the associated stat. Though, the win, loss and saves projection are more match-up based.
Next time we'll take the league average player and a star for both hitting and pitching and calculate his expected fantasy points home and away for the most popular fantasy sites. This will give those that eyeball their lineups an idea of the mental adjustment they need to make with respect to home versus away.