Leaderboard of the day: team OPS in road games

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MLB.com has rolled out some new stats pages, and it looks like those tantalizing splits they’ve always sort of featured but that only end up working half of the time at best are actually fully operational.

So, using those splits, here’s a leaderboard for today.  I’m looking at each team’s OPS in road games only, and then contrasting that to where the team rank in home games:

1. Cardinals – .792 – 19
2. Yankees – .776 – 4
3. Tigers – .761 – 10
4. Dodgers – .760 – 27
5. Red Sox – .751 – 1
6. Angels – .749 – 25
7. Rays – .741 – 24
8. Mets – .718 – 12
9. Pirates – .709 – 29
10. Cubs – .708 – 15
11. Reds – .707 – 9
12. Royals – .701 – 14
13. Orioles – .699 – 11
14. Blue Jays – .696 – 6
15. White Sox – .694 – 13
16. Padres – .693 – 30
17. Diamondbacks – .693 – 5
18. Rockies – .689 – 8
19. Rangers – .683 – 2
20. Giants – .676 – 26
21. Astros – .673 – 18
22. Phillies – .666 – 20
23. Indians – .663 – 7
24. Braves – .658 – 17
25. Marlins – .656 – 21
26. Brewers – .652 – 3
27. Mariners – .637 – 28
28. Nationals – .633 – 16
29. Twins – .632 – 23
30. Athletics – .615 – 22

So, the Cardinals are first in the majors in road OPS and 19th in home OPS.

There are some other huge disparities here, particularly with those Southern California teams.  The Padres have actually been perfectly average offensively outside of Petco Park, while the Dodgers and Angels have thrived offensively outside of their parks.  It shows up in the records of the Padres and Angels, both of whom have superior marks in road games.  The Dodgers, though, are five games under .500 both at home and on the road.

We can also see here just how overrated the Texas offense as.  The team has 64 homers at home and just 31 on the road.

The Brewers are right there with the Rangers.  They’re actually 29-11 at home this season and 15-27 on the road.  It’s not the fault of the superstars: Ryan Braun is hitting .306 with six homers on the road, while Prince Fielder is at .279 with eight homers.  However, Casey McGehee is hitting .218 with one homer on the road, Corey Hart is at .240 with two homers and Yuniesky Betancourt is at .188 with one homer.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.