Mariners Are Moving In Fences; Will It Matter?
So, the Mariners are moving in the fences at Safeco Field for next season, which begs the question: Do they realize that moves them in for the other teams, as well?
Some amazing stats in this blog item by Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times. Seattle’s OPS+ this year is 98 in road games; that just 2 percent below the league average (OPS+ is normalized to 100). But in home games, the Mariners’ OPS+ is 67 — or 33 percent below the league average.
Seattle is last in the AL by a mile in terms of overall runs scored. But in road games they are fifth in the league in runs. The offense isn’t as bad as the park makes it appear.
However, that reduction is not unique to the Mariners. This season, Seattle’s scoring is 32 percent lower at Safeco than it is in road games; same for the Mariners’ opponents. Last year, the Mariners’ scoring was down 16 percent at Safeco; their opponents scored 14 percent fewer runs.
So, yes, Safeco hurts offensive production. But unless they put the fences on rollers — hey, they have a retractable roof! — it probably won’t make much difference in the team’s win-loss record.