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Arlington, Texas — It’s one of those statistical facts that seems unrelated to any specific weakness or shortcoming a team might have. It’s the kind of statistical fact managers and players don’t really have any answer for.

Statistical fact: The Tigers have been a bad road club this year. They came into the finale here against the Rangers with the third-worst road record in the American League and the seventh worst in baseball (24-38, .387).

They had lost 32 of their last 50 games away from Comerica Park.

“I have no idea, man,” Nick Castellanos said.

It’s not been an issue in the previous three seasons under manager Brad Ausmus. The team is 122-120 the last three seasons, posting winning road records in 2016 and 2014.

“I don’t read a lot into home and road splits,” Ausmus said. “What am I going to do, take Comerica Park on the road with me? There’s not a lot you can do about it.”

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Truthfully, there isn’t. There are enough veteran players and enough clubhouse leadership that the usual factors in road struggles — immaturity, distractions and overall lack of focus — don’t apply.

“Generally speaking, this hasn’t been a normal year for this group,” Ausmus said. “This (the poor road record) is just a by-product, really. I don’t think there is anything to be read into it.”

Except the splits are so drastic.

The Tigers rank in the top five in the American League in batting average (second, .277), OPS (third, .810), slugging percentage (fourth, .462) and runs (third, 312) at Comerica Park. On the road, they rank close to the bottom in those same categories — 11th in average (.243), 12th in OPS (.705), 14th in slugging (.391) and eighth in runs (261).

The Tigers rank near the bottom in most pitching categories both home and away, but the road numbers are brutal. They’ve allowed the most runs of any American League team on the road (337), have the second-highest ERA (5.38), the highest opponents’ average (.282) and the highest WHIP (1.53).


“I really don’t think you can attribute it to anything,” Ausmus said. “It’s just happenstance. An anomaly. Call it whatever you want, but I don’t think there is anything to it.”

There are some players who have been better on the road than at home. Ian Kinsler is hitting 30 points higher on the road, with an OPS 105 points higher. Victor Martinez (.266 on the road, .248 at home) and Jose Iglesias (.269-.237) have been more productive on the road, as well.

Justin Upton and Mikie Mahtook, as you would expect, are producing with equal consistency both home and away.

But Miguel Cabrera and Castellanos have struggled mightily on the road. Here are their comparative splits (average/on-base/slugging/OPS):

Cabrera home: .306/.368/.547/.915 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs.

Cabrera away: .205/.311/.283/.594 with three home runs and 24 RBIs.

Castellanos home: .293/.364/.488/.852 with six homers and 36 RBIs.

Castellanos away: .201/.253/.385/.638 with nine homers and 21 RBIs.

“I didn’t know that,” Castellanos said. “I think there is definitely more of a comfort level when you are at home. Guys have their families with them and stuff like that. But as to why (the drastic splits), I have no idea.”

Just chalk it up as another statistical malady in a season full of them.

After Wednesday night, the Tigers will play 24 of their last 42 games at home. @cmccosky


Home stats listed first, away stats second

ERA: 4.65 (14th); .534 (14th)

WHIP: 1.35 (11th); 1.53 ( 15th)

Runs: 288 (5th); 337 (15th)

Home runs: 73 (11th); 84 (4th)

Opponents’ average: .266 (13th); .282 (15th)


Home stats listed first, away stats second

Batting average: .277 (2nd); .243 (11th)

OPS: .810 (3rd); .705 (12th)

Slugging: .462 (4th); .392 (14th)

Runs: 312 (3rd); 261 (8th)

Home runs: 74 (8th); 64 (8th)