Playing the splits: Hitting for power at home and on the road

On Wednesday's Daily Matchups segment on Fantasy Baseball Today, I recommended that owners sit David Murphy against righty Yordano Ventura, even though he owns a healthy .306/..371/.479 slash line versus right-handed pitchers. Not only is Ventura tougher than your typical righty, but Murphy has done much of that damage at Progressive Field, which is much better suited to power hitting for a left-handed hitter. At his home ballpark, Murphy's slash line against righties improves to .338/.402/.563.

Murphy is far from the only hitter who gets a big boost from his home venue. Brian McCann has a .202 Isolated Power at Yankee Stadium, but an .082 mark elsewhere, while across town, Lucas Duda's home/road Iso splits are .235/.146. It's no secret that Yankee Stadium is a great hitter's park, especially for lefties, but Citi Field has also been a good home run park since the fences were moved in. Brett Lawrie has been a stud at Rogers Centre with an .817 OPS, but on the road, that mark is a mere .603.

While McCann and Lawrie are starting in more than three-fourths of the leagues on, their splits suggest that they should sit in more leagues when they're on road trips. Duda is starting in only 28 percent of our leagues, yet he could be worth using during home stands, despite his .165 home batting average. Though he could stand to strike out less often, Duda has had the misfortune of posting a .151 BABIP at Citi Field.

If you're confused by Desmond Jennings' inconsistency, park factors offer a clue as to how to use him in Fantasy. Jennings has hit all five of his home runs away from Tropicana Field, which would put him on a 25-plus home run pace if he could just play all of his games on the road. Neil Walker's power breakout has occurred largely in his away games, as he has an impressive .211 Iso on the road, as compared to .138 at PNC Park. If you are having trouble trusting these two late-20s hitters, think about just using them when they are away from their pitcher-friendly home parks.

Data Analyst

Al Melchior has been playing Fantasy Baseball since 1994, getting his start in the Southern Maryland Anthropomorphic Baseball League (SMABL). He has been writing about Fantasy Baseball since 2000, getting... Full Bio

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