Astros Continue Road Dominance in Detroit

Minute Maid is a great ballpark, but the Astros are clearly more comfortable away from it than in it.
Minute Maid is a great ballpark, but the Astros are clearly more comfortable away from it than in it. Photo by Jack Gorman
Most good teams in sports try to win about two-thirds of their home games and around half their road games. This is typically a formula for success no matter what the league. Winning on the road is tough, so the more home games you win, the better, and anything you can do on the road is a positive.

The Astros have turned that entire formula on its head this season, however. After picking up yet another one-run win in Detroit Tuesday night, the Astros moved to 91-54 overall and 51-22 on the road, the best road record in baseball. That's nearly .700 on the road, which is just crazy.

On Monday, Justin Verlander returned to the team he had played for his entire career before being traded to the Astros last August and picked up a 3-2 victory. That came on the heels of a 2-1 series win at Boston, the team with the best record in the majors. Since the All Star break, they have gone 19-8 on the road and holding onto a three-game lead in the AL West over the consistently good A's.

Of course, there is a flip side to this road wizardry. The Astros are downright mediocre at home at only 40-32. That is a .555 average in the cozy confines of Minute Maid Park.

It's not an anomaly that they are better on the road this season. In 2017, they went 53-28 on the road and 48-33 at home. They still have time to get closer to those numbers with 17 games remaining, but it is more likely they crush last year's road record and fall short of what they did at home.

It's an oddity, to be sure, but you take what wins you can get and the Astros seem comfortable on the road to a remarkable degree. Since they aren't going to catch the Red Sox, they would have to face at least one team on the road in the playoffs. If they were to do that, it would be in ALCS. Good thing the Astros seem to be most at home on the road.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke