Around the Horn: The Twins & Target Field
Last week we were in Cleveland. The next stop on our tour has us in the Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Twins saw their season-best five-game win streak come to an end in Tuesday's second contest of its double-header with the Marlins, an 8-5 setback in which I had the "over".
One player you'll want to keep your eyes on is Joe Mauer, as the five-time All-Star is hitting .444 with two home runs and eight RBIs over his last 11 games (that said, Mauer is hitting just .243 vs. his next opponent, going 5 for 30 over his last nine home games in this series).
2012 Park Factor (Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Higher than 1.000 favors the hitter).
- Runs: 1.044
- HR: 1.031
- H: 1.030
- 2B: 0.989
- 3B: 1.905
- BB: 1.082
Interesting facts about Target Field: Is the Twins' sixth ballpark and third in Minnesota. After 28 seasons at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the team relocated to Target Field in 2010. An open-air park with over 39,000 occupancy (cost just over a half-billion dollars to construct). Was designed with the purpose of being a "neutral" park as far as favoring neither the pitcher nor the hitter. Built with local limestone, it features heated viewing areas and a heated field. There is no roof, but the top deck is covered in a canopy. The original flagpole from Metropolitan Stadium is located on the right-field plaza. The bullpens are "double-decker" style in left-center field. Home plate is the same that was used at the Metrodome. It has been selected to host the 2014 All-Star Game.
Has home field been an advantage for the Twins since Target Field opened?
- 2010: 94-68 overall. 53-28 at home. 41-40 on road.
- 2011: 63-99 overall. 33-48 at home. 30-51 on road.
- 2012: 66-96 overall. 31-50 at home. 35-46 on road.
(2013 as of writing: 9-8 overall. 5-4 at home. 4-4 on road.
Obviously over the last two seasons, home field has been anything but an advantage for the Twins. They had the big year in 2010, but have soiled the sheets the last two seasons.
In all of my other articles I've taken a look back over the previous five seasons, so to be fair, let's see what Minnesota did in 2008 and 2009:
- 2008: 88-75 overall. 53-28 at home. 35-47 on road.
- 2009: 87-76 overall. 49-33 at home. 38-43 on road.
The Twins' talent level in all phases of the game has dropped considerably overall since 2010, so I think it's safe to say that the book is still out on whether or not Target Field is an advantage for the Twins.
The Twins open a four game series with the Rangers on Thursday the 25th.
Minnesota was 2-8 vs. the Rangers last season, including 0-3 at Target Field.
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