FanPost

Kyle Seager's Crazy Home/Road Splits

Kyle Seager is having a good year; by far the best year of his young career. A quick glance at his basic slashline, .279/.350/.493, reveals as much. His counting stats aren't too shabby either. 15 home runs at the All-Star break puts him on pace to easily surpass last season's career-high 22. He's as little as one series away from surpassing last year's 69 RBIs, currently sitting at 63.

Yet, even a quick glance at slightly more specific statistics reveals that Seager is also having a fairly strange season. Mainly, his home/away splits are bonkers. The 26-year old has been atrocious on the road all year. In 193 plate appearance away from Safeco, his .207/.281/.339 line has been more Ackley than Seager. Only two home runs have come in 44 road games. Take the performance of 2014 Road Seager and apply it over a full season, home and away, and suddenly the Mariners lineup is Cano and not a whole lot else that can be depended on.

Luckily, 2014 Safeco Seager has been an absolute monster. In 188 plate appearances, he has managed an MVP-level .353/.420/.653 line, with 13 of his 15 home runs and 42 of his 63 RBIs. Given Safeco's reputation as a pitcher's park, as well as Seattle's relative struggles at home (27-18 away, 24-26 home), this is pretty surprising.

However, these stats do support the narrative of Seager carrying the offense through rough stretches at home. Anecdotally, Seager has managed to hit three home runs in the four home games that I've attended this year. I figured it was pure coincidence that I had witnessed 26% of Seager's home runs in a little over 4% of his games, but with this information in mind, I actually witnessed 30% of his Safeco home runs in 8% of his home games. Still lucky, but less miraculous given that Seager has hit almost all of his bombs in Seattle.

Oddly, this is the first season in which Seager has performed better at home than on the road. Over the course of his career (counting the first half of 2014), he's hit .253/.328/.402 at home and .273/.332/.462 on the road. Remove this year's contributions from those numbers, and the difference is more dramatic. This isn't about the fences moving in, either. In 2013, the first year after the field alterations, he hit .243/.316/.374 at home and .277/.360/.477 away.

The sample size isn't massive, so it's reasonable to expect the gulf between these two versions of Seager to shrink over the second half, even if the differences are likely too stark to fully even out. After all, we know Seager is better than a .207 hitter no matter what park he's playing in, and if we're being honest, we also know he probably can't sustain a .420 on base percentage at Safeco or anywhere else.

Still, when you consider that Seager had, before this season, been a good road hitter and a slightly less effective batter in Seattle, it's at the very least interesting to see him totally reverse course and dominate at Safeco over more than half of a season.

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