The Rays are half-way to their 20th home loss on the season here unless the offense wakes up and rallies in the final innings. A loss tonight will make the club a very disappointing 20-20 at home on the season through the first half of the home schedule coming off a two year stretch where they were only percentage points behind the Red Sox for the best home record in all of baseball. The immediate question that comes to mind is can a team make the playoffs with such a poor home record? The answer is yes.
The 2001 Atlanta Braves were just 40-41 at home in the 2001 season on their way to winning the NL East with an 88-74 record. The Braves went on to defeat the Houston Astros in the NLDS before going down to the eventual World Series winning Arizona Diamondbacks. Outside of the Braves, no other club in this decade has had a home winning percentage of less than .530 as a playoff winner. A .530 winning percentage requires 43 wins so for the Rays to get to that point, they need to go 23-18 the rest of the way at home which is not out of the question. However, 75% of the teams that have made the playoffs in this decade have had at least a .600 winning percentage at home and to get to .600 the club needs 49 home wins. 49 home wins would require a 29-12 record moving forward and that seems damn near impossible the way this club has played so far at home this season. In all, the playoff teams this decade have average a .626 home winning percentage.
I’m publishing this story early because I am hoping the reverse karma strategy works and the Rays can rally for a win tonight and stop giving up home runs to Eric f**king Patterson!
Update: 21-19 doesn’t sound so bad!