Milwaukee Brewers: Why is Zach Davies so good on the road?

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 10: Zach Davies
MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 10: Zach Davies /

Milwaukee Brewers starter Zach Davies owns a 2.33 ERA in 77 1/3 innings on the road. In Miller Park? He has a 5.97 ERA in 72 1/3 innings of work. Why is he Clayton Kershaw at home and Clayton Richard on the road?

Add the home / road splits together, and Zach Davies is actually in the middle of a solid season for the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a 14-7 record with a 4.09 ERA in 149 2/3 innings of work. He’s only struck out 98, but he’s limited his walks to 47. Why are his results so wildly different?

What Kind Of Pitcher Is Zach Davies?

Well, Zach Davies lacks overpowering stuff and relies on hitting the corners, keeping hitters off-balance, and relying on his defense to pick him up. He has a 1.60 GB:FB ratio for his career, so Davies doesn’t fit an extreme fly ball or ground ball profile. He gets outs any way he can.

Does He Have Wildly Different Batted Ball Profiles At Home And On The Road?

Nope. Zach Davies is essentially the same guy and that’s why he runs into trouble in Miller Park. His GB:FB ratio at home is 1.77, while his ratio on the road is 1.57. That’s not really a significant difference. His line drive rate at home is 22.0%, while his rate on the road is 23.2%. He’s the same just about anywhere.

He must give up a ton of homers in Miller Park, right? Not really. He’s given up nine bombs in Miller Park, and eight on the road. Home runs aren’t the issue for Zach Davies.

So What Is The Issue For Zach Davies?

Would you believe that statistics are to blame? Milwaukee Brewers starter Zach Davies owns a .349 BABIP at home, with a .254 BABIP on the road. Balls in play simply don’t find gloves as often in Miller Park as they do away from Milwaukee when Davies is on the mound.

What’s even more odd is that his line drive rate is actually higher when he’s pitching on the road. He’s not walking people in bunches. He’s not giving up tons of homers. Zach Davies is simply the victim of balls in play. Davies’ career BABIP is .297. His overall BABIP for 2017 is .302. He’s getting the same results, just with a really strange split.

Next: Why Is Eric Thames Leading Off For The Brewers?

Are Davies’ home / road splits concerning? Not really? There’s cause for concern when a pitcher gets tagged for a few homers or clearly struggles with command. None of that is occurring with Davies. As long as he’s continuing to get positive result overall, the weird home and road issues are an aspect of the season that the Brewers will have to deal with until his results normalize.