Around the Horn: Tropicana Field
We continue our journey around the American League East. Last week we were at Camden Yards. This time we journey down South to invade St. Petersburg.
The Rays finished third in the division last season, behind the Yanks and Orioles
They were 10-16 overall in Spring Training 2012. As of writing, Tampa Bay is 10-4 in Spring Training 2013.
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: 0.874
- HR: 0.774
- H: 0.914
- 2B: 0.922
- 3B: 1.286
- BB: 1.004
Interesting Facts about Tropicana Field: It's a dome which has been the home of the Rays since their inaugural season in 1998. It was originally called the Florida Suncoast Dome, and then the ThunderDome. In 1996 Tropicana Products bought the building. The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl has called it home since 2008. The Tampa Bay Lightning made the stadium its home for three seasons. Interestingly, it remains the only domed field in MLB which is not retractable. The Final Four was hosted in 2009 (Connecticut Huskies beat the Duke Blue Devils 77-74). It's one of the only venues to host all four major North American sports. In 2007 the team added a 35-foot, 10,000 gallon Cownose ray tank to the building, and it's in clear view of the play on the field. The dome has 70 luxury suites, and a total of 2,776 club seats. It is the only Major League park to feature an artificial surface and all-dirt base paths. The biggest criticism of the field are the four catwalks which hang from the ceiling. If a ball hits the A or B ring in fair territory, the ball is in play. If it touches the C or D ring in fair territory, it's considered a home run.
Has home field advantage been an advantage for the Rays over the last five years?
- 2008: 97-65 overall. 57-24 at home. 40-41 on road.
- 2009: 84-78 overall. 52-29 at home. 32-49 on road.
- 2010: 96-66 overall. 49-32 at home. 47-34 on road.
- 2011: 97-71 overall. 47-34 at home. 44-37 on road.
- 2012: 90-72 overall. 46-35 at home. 44-37 on road.
Tampa Bay has been competitive for years, and clearly home field has played a big role in its success over the past five seasons.
It's a battle of divisional opponents to open the year, as Baltimore is in town for a three-game set starting on April 2nd.
Tampa was 8-10 overall vs. Baltimore in 2012, including 5-4 at Tropicana Field.
- U (WKU at VAN)
- AAA Sports
- September 3, 2015 - 8:00 PM
- Offered at:
- sbgglobal @ Under 68 -110
1* Free Play UNDER WKU/Vandy.
WKU owned one of the countries top offensive units last year and it will once again be a strength of for the 'Tops this season. If Western Kentucky wants to take its play to the next level though, clearly it needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball this season and the team draws a great opponent in its opener to test its new unit. The Hilltoppers got some good news in the offseason when UAB decided to shutdown its football program at the end of last year, making its players available for transfer and immediate eligibility. WKU would quickly grab senior Jontavious Morris, who upgrades the defensive line and the defensive unit as a whole. On the other side of the field, Derek Mason's start as Head Coach got off to a rocky start in 2014/15 as Vanderbilt would win just three games overall, while going a miserable 0-8 in the SEC. Vandy had no consistency at the QB position and it's going to be an issue again this year as new Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig is still trying to decide who will start as neither Wade Freebeck or Johnny McCrary have played well enough to stake a claim as the No. 1 guy. The offensive line was atrocious last season, the team averaged a league-worst 3.4 YPC, while also struggling to protect the QB. The Commodores though will benefit from more experience on both sides of the ball in 2014/15, but all signs once again point to a long and frustrating season. While there's sure to be some spectacular offensive plays in this one, we feel that the combination of WKU's improved defensive unit and Vanderbilt's issues at QB will result in this one falling UNDER the posted number.
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