DeadWinterDay wrote:Doesn't get much more crazy than AARON HARANG.
7 starts in each category.
AWAY: 1.86 ERA
HOME: 6.31 ERA
AWAY: 1 HR allowed
HOME: 9 HR allowed!
Great American is a TERRIBLE park in which to pitch if you are a fly ball pitcher because it yields so many home runs. In fact according to Rotowire, "Cincinnati - Played as the best NL park in yielding homers in 2005". That's right...better than Colorado...better than Arizona. Great American - and not Coors Field - was the Coors Field of the NL in 2005. Now it is slightly run neutral (in fact it suppressed run scoring in 2003-2004 and only reversed that trend to go to slightly good for scoring runs in 2005) but the home runs come more easily there than in any other NL park.
So what about Harang? His last 3 years ground ball percentages are 42.2%, 39.1% and 38.6% so far this year. So basically Aaron Harang is a fairly extreme fly ball pitcher pitching in an extreme home run ball park. That's not a good combination.
His home/road splits tell the entire story when you examine the component numbers. At home he's posted a 10.13 k/9 and a 2.44 bb/9 - outstanding numbers! On the road he's posted an 8.38 k/9 and a 2.23 bb/9 - not quite as good but still outstanding. However...and this is where it becomes crystal clear what's going on here...he's posted a hr/9 of 1.69 at home versus 0.19 on the road!!! That's the entire difference for Aaron Harang. He doesn't let Great American Ballpark affect his pitching...in fact he's stepped it up to a new level at home this year. But the ballpark will not be denied and 9 of those long fly balls that fly ball pitchers are wont to give up have found the bleachers (or the river
) when he's pitched at home. Only 1 has made it out on the road.
Harang would be an outstanding start in one of two situations:
1) He's starting in a home run neutral to home run suppressing park. I wouldn't just avoid home starts but also avoid Coors and Arizona for example.
2) He's facing a team that has very poor home run hitters in general (even at home). Obviously even Great American Ballpark isn't going to turn Kenny Lofton into a home run hitter. The Hardball Times
has hr/f ratios on their player stats page...if the team Harang is facing sports most of their players in single digits for that statistic you can probably even start Harang at home. If you see a bunch of guys in the 14-15%+ range you may want to rethink even starting him on the road.