Chicago Cubs: Home is where the wins are

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 03: Victor Caratini #7, Anthony Rizzo #44, and Craig Kimbrel #24 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate their team's 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on August 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 03: Victor Caratini #7, Anthony Rizzo #44, and Craig Kimbrel #24 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate their team's 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on August 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Photo by Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images) /

1961-1966

Baseball expanded its schedule from 154 to 162 games when the American League added two teams for the 1961 season. Interestingly, one of those expansion teams, the Los Angeles Angels, was among three teams ringing up those wide home-road differentials that season. On their way to a 70-91 record that was considered surprisingly good, the Angels finished 46-36 at their temporary home, Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. On the road was a vastly different story; the Angels won only 24 of their 79 road games, 22 fewer than at home.

The fourth place Chicago White Sox finished 20 games better at Comiskey Park (53-28) than on the road (33-48), a feat credited to their go-go style and pitching dominance, both of which were more suited to Comiskey’s spacious layout. But the White Sox, and all of the American League, barely sniffed a run at the World Champion New York Yankees, who were virtually unbeatable in the Bronx. The Yanks ran up a 109-53 record in large measure because they went 65-16 at Yankee Stadium. Their 44-37 road record looked average by comparison.

The National League expanded in 1962, and season year later the expansion Houston Colt 45s – not yet known as the Astros — displayed their comfort level with conditions at home. Playing at Colt Stadium while the Astrodome was being constructed, Houston went 44-37. That was well above the team’s talent level; they finished the season in ninth place, 66-96, thanks in large measure to their 22-59 road record. Consider their performance against the Chicago Cubs. In Houston the Colts won seven of nine games, out-scoring the Cubs 24-15. In Chicago, the Cubs won seven of nine, and out–scored the Colts 42-23.