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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(Original Caption) Houston, Texas. Interior views of the Astrodome stadium, August, 1965.
(Original Caption) Houston, Texas. Interior views of the Astrodome stadium, August, 1965. /

1967-1979

The Astros moved into the Astrodome in time for the 1965 season, and immediately discovered an advantage conveyed by indoor baseball. In 1966 Houston finished only eighth in the National League with a 72-9 record. But the Astros still managed to win 45 of their 81 home games. Their problem was a 27-54 record in games played anywhere that didn’t have a roof.

The 1972 Chicago White Sox made a run at the AL West champion Oakland A’s thanks to their dominance at Comiskey. On their way to an 87-67 overall record – five and one-half games behind the A’s – the Sox won 55 of their 78 home games, seven more than the A’s. But the Sox, too, couldn’t handle life on the road, where they went just 32-44.

Only three teams have won a World Series with as much as a 20-game home-road imbalance. The 1961 Yankees did it, and so did the Big Red Machine in 1975.  That season the Reds intimidated visitors to Riverfront Stadium, going 64-17. They didn’t lose a home game until April 20, went 10-3 at home in May, 14-5 in June, 14-3 in July, 11-2 in August and 9-3 in September. At 44-37, they weren’t bad on the road, either.

Between 1977 and 1978, four teams compiled 20-game home-road disparities. The Pirates did it both seasons, the Cardinals finished with a 21-game differential in 1977, and the 1978 Astros showed that franchise hadn’t lost its home field touch. On their way to an overall 74-88 record, the Astros finished 50-31 at home but just 24-57 on the road.