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Does the Size of the Crowd Matter?

There has been a lot speculation this season that the reason the Marlins have a better record on the road than at home is because of the size of the crowds.

Probe for the reasons why the Marlins have a worse home record than road record, and several oddities emerge. No player in baseball has a bigger difference than Jeremy Hermida in road batting average (.323) and home average (.203), and Mike Jacobs (.221 home, .276 road) also is in the top 10. Josh Willingham also hits better on the road (.288 to .253).

Dontrelle Willis' home ERA entering Tuesday was more than a run higher (5.52 to 4.42). And closer Kevin Gregg (2.03 ERA road, 3.97 home) said the small crowds make it ''harder'' to pitch here, ``because I like the noise.''

The Marlins are young team and are probably effected by the energy of the crowd.  I don't have a problem with that thesis whatsoever.  But the Marlins home record is about the same as their road record.  The Marlins are 27-32 at home and 29-31 on the road.  Of course another reason could be is that the Marlins are playing about .470 ball and are regressing to the mean and it doesn't matter where they play.

Since the first of July the Marlins are 10-7 at home and 8-12 on the road.  And the way it appears on my computer screen the home crowds are getting smaller, assuming they actually show the stands at all.

While it is true that one would expect a team to have a better home record than the one they post on the road, the Marlins aren't the only ones who don't in the NL.  The Mets and Dodgers have a worse record at home than on the road.  Also the Braves home and road records are about equivalent.

Granted, it may be that the makeup of our favorite team is such that the bigger crowds tend to cause them to elevate their game and the others are oblivious to them.  But I'm not sure that the size of the crowd is that big of a factor.  Most of the Marlins played in about the same crowd conditions last season. so this can't be anything new.

All of that said, I'm sure a large supportive home crowd would be for the best.