Statistics sometimes have a funny way of coming full circle.
If you rewind the clock back a decade or two, our "advanced" metrics were using player's splits, specifically handedness and home/away. To this day, a player's handedness splits are frequently referenced on broadcasts and even utilized at the major league level (remember all those mid-inning pitcher changes before the minimum batters faced rule?). Yet in this age of sabermetrics and Statcast, home/away splits have been written off by many as having little value.
For fantasy purposes, we obviously aren't concerned about our home/away splits for our specific teams, yet real-life home/away statistics do come into play all the time. That isn't to say these types of splits are ignored completely - advice columns touting the fringe waiver wire players heading into Coors Field for a series are dime a dozen - but how many fantasy players are actually going to the extreme of considering benching Danny Santana on the road last year? My guess is not many. This is partially because Santana was probably a replacement player on most rosters and was being used out of necessity, but also because I believe a large number of players set their lineups without even considering where the player is playing his games, let alone being away of his home/away splits. In traditional rotisserie leagues, it's possible to get away with this attitude, but in head-to-head formats, a player with consistent production is far more valuable than one that goes on streaks, whether that's hot streaks or severe statistical splits.
Another factor is consider is where the player rates in terms of replacement value on your team. Just because Anthony Rizzo has wRC+ 34% better at home than on the road, that doesn't mean he is a bad hitter on the road. In fact, his 113 road wRC+ is still in the top 45% of all qualified players from 2019. Conversely, someone like Jean Segura has a wRC+ that's also 33% worse on the road than at home, yet his 74 wRC+ on the road ranks in the bottom 15% of the league. In both of these cases, we have players with large discrepancies in home and road performance, but only Rizzo is usable on the road as-is. Yet, most players will probably start Segura regardless of where he's playing, primarily because of his sunk cost in the form of draft capital.
So this is where we come full circle. It's a little ironic that we have all these advanced statistics at our disposal, but a significant edge can still be had by simply leveraging home/away splits and starting your best players in the situations they will be in - not their full-season averages. To start getting the feel for some of these 2019 performances and players with large, or more importantly, small home/road discrepancies, take a look at the dashboards below.
To see the complete dataset for all qualified hitters, click here.
To see the complete dataset for all qualified pitchers, click here.