You're not imagining it

Does it sometimes seem to you that the Mariners play worse at home?

Have you ever anticipated the big weekend series only to come away disappointed?

Do you find yourself entertaining the possibility that the M's lay a turd every time they capture the city's attention?

Well, rest assured, dear embittered Mariners fan. Don't fret. I'm here to reassure you:

You're not imaging it.


So far this year, Seattle is 10-13 at home and 18-7 on the road. But you knew that already, right? Best road record in baseball, etc. But it's really more impressive than that. The Mariners have the greatest discrepancy in terms of home winning percentage (.435) and road winning percentage (.720) in all of baseball! Remarkably, this is worse than the Braves, who are a minor league team playing in a zombie stadium.

2016 Home Road Discrepancy

Impressively Bad!

You are probably saying to yourself right now, "Pssshh, this is a small sample size anomaly." Excellent! LL has trained you well. Obviously, it is impossible for a team to maintain a home-road winning discrepancy of -0.285. Usually the worst team in the league is more like -0.050.


More reasonable, yet still the worst!

I bet you know where I'm going next.


Is three years in a row medium sample size?

You might notice that most teams move around quite a bit year-to-year, so this sort of thing tends to average out over time. It probably isn't meaningful. 1hOqtE1x.0.png Gulp. (ed.- additional graph Sunday morning)

Here's the thing, though: it doesn't have to be this way. In fact, it wasn't this way before. Before the last couple years, the Mariners were a bit above average, winning anywhere from 9 to 13 more games at home than on the road.


What happened?! Was it moving in the fences before 2013? Was it Lloyd McClendon's reign of terror? Robinson Cano's casual jogs to first base? Fernando Rodney's angina-inducing WHIP and arrow? Some kind of Ackley-Miley beard corollary? Global warming's effect on the marine layer? Or is it just the fickleness of the baseball gods, and their emissary, Statistical Noise?

Of course, this year has been extra-horrific, as the Mariners not only lose a wildly disproportionate number of home games, but they manage to do so particularly when there are large crowds. This is a new wrinkle in their home woes (even if foreshadowed by Night Court). Last year they averaged 28,293 in home wins and 26,104 in home losses. In 2016, however, the average attendance at home wins is 21,680, while the average attendance for home losses 30,420. Here's the distribution of the attendance in their wins and losses. Don't worry, it's not statistically significant (p= 0.09).

Attendance Wins Losses

In games where the attendance is under 25,000, the Mariners are 8-4 (just like their road record!). But in games where there are more than 25,000 people at the Safe, the M's are 2-9 (yikes!). Of course, this is just a fancy way of saying that they are 2-9 during weekend homestands. It's almost as if the greater the "homefield advantage," the worse they do.


Finally, here's a wholly unnecessary graph that compares how many people have witnessed the Mariners win compared to those who have suffered through losses at Safeco this year:


Over 178,000 more people have seen them lose than win at home this year!


See, don't you feel better already? You're not imagining it! It really is that bad!