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MLB Park Factors (2019 Fantasy Baseball)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Feb 15, 2019

Wei-Yin Chen posted a 1.62 ERA at home last season thanks to Marlins Park’s homer-suppressing park factor

A new baseball season is almost upon us, and that means a fresh look at the park factors around the Majors. You can check out the ballpark factors here, and on that landing page, you can choose to view the park factors by handedness of hitter by selecting from the splits drop box. Ballpark factors should definitely be considered when evaluating the outlook of players for the 2019 season, namely for those players who play their home games in extremely hitter-friendly or pitcher-friendly venues. Below, three ballparks immediately get special attention. They’ll be followed by a breakdown of the most run-amplifying, run-suppressing, homer-amplifying, and homer-suppressing ballparks.

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Angel Stadium of Anaheim
In advance of the 2018 season, the Angels lowered the height of the home run boundary line in right field from 18 feet to eight feet. You can read the full specifics of the change here. Predictably, the change resulted in a higher park factor for homers. Our park factors use a three-year average, so they reflect the ballpark factors from 2016-2018. The park factor for homers using the three-year average is 1.053.

However, Angel Stadium of Anaheim should be expected to enhance homers by a greater rate this season. According to ESPN’s single-season park factors from 2018, the park factor for homers was 1.138. I’d advise leaning toward last year’s single-season park factor for homers in projecting players this season, though, it is advisable to continue to monitor the single-season park factor for homers this season and take that into consideration as the year marches along, too.

Chase Field
The Diamondbacks unveiled the humidor at Chase Field last year, and after speculating what the impact would be, we have an actual season of numbers to look at. The park factors on our site now reflect only last season’s data at Chase Field instead of utilizing a three-year average. Prior to the usage of a humidor, Chase Field was an extremely hitter-friendly venue. Last year, though, it ranked 15th in park factor for runs at a damn-near neutral mark of 1.001.

After being a homer-friendly park in the pre-humidor days, it was responsible for a park factor of 0.971 for homers last year. In short, Chase Field is no longer a hitter’s paradise. Instead, it’s essentially a neutral field that slightly depresses dingers.

SunTrust Park
SunTrust Park has now been the home to the Braves for two seasons. The park factors on our site are reflective of the two year’s worth of data for games played in that park. It won’t appear in the run-amplifying parks section below, but it wasn’t far off from making the cut ranking fifth in park factor for runs at 1.069. It also just missed the cut for another section below. However, while one might think a run-enhancing environment would also boost homers, that’s not the case. SunTrust Park barely missed the cut for the homer-suppressing parks section below with the eighth-lowest park factor for homers (0.905).

Run-Amplifying Parks (10% or Greater Boost for Run Scoring)

Park (Team) Park Factor (1.000 neutral)
Coors Field (Rockies) 1.344
Globe Life Park in Arlington (Rangers) 1.239
Fenway Park (Red Sox) 1.100

 
Last year, there were four ballparks that made the cut for this section. Progressive Field (Indians) fell below the 10% cut line with a three-year park factor for runs of 1.095. The other three parks are carryovers from last year, and Globe Life Park in Arlington’s park factor for runs has surged from 1.117 last year to 1.239 this year. Coors Field remains the cream of the crop for run-scoring venues, and Fenway Park is still one of the game’s best run-scoring environments, too. These are great venues to target streaming hitters in during the season.

Run-Suppressing Parks (10% or Greater Reduction to Run Scoring)

Park (Team) Park Factor (1.000 neutral)
Dodger Stadium (Dodgers) 0.890
Minute Maid Park (Astros) 0.866
Citi Field (Mets) 0.853
Marlins Park (Marlins) 0.826

 
There were four ballparks in this section last year, and Dodger Stadium and Citi Field are carryovers from last year. Marlins Park went from outside the bottom four in run scoring park factor last year to the bottom dweller by a large margin entering this season. In addition to holding down run scoring, Citi Field is also a tough venue to hit taters in with a park factor for homers of 0.909. Minute Made Park is another new addition to the bottom four this year, and it, too, suppresses homers with a park factor of 0.945.  Streaming pitching at these four parks should prove fruitful in 2019, however, streaming against the talented offenses of the Dodgers and Astros is unwise, nonetheless.

Homer-Amplifying Parks (10% or Greater Boost for Homers)

Park (Team) Park Factor (1.000 neutral)
Coors Field (Rockies) 1.280
Yankee Stadium (Yankees) 1.265
Citizens Bank Park (Phillies) 1.224
Great American Ball Park (Reds) 1.205
Globe Life Park in Arlington (Rangers) 1.145
Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Orioles) 1.121
Miller Park (Brewers) 1.104

 
Coors Field not only leads the pack in park factor for runs, it also leapfrogged Yankee Stadium for the highest park factor for homers, too. It’s easily the best offensive environment in MLB, and it’s not particularly close. After having five ballparks in this section last year, it swells to seven ballparks this year thanks to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Miller Park joining the returning five parks from last year. If you’re on the hunt for power in drafts or during the season, these are the top parks to target for fences-clearing thump.

Homer-Suppressing Parks (10% or Greater Reduction for Homers)

Park (Team) Park Factor (1.000 neutral)
Tropicana Field (Rays) 0.885
Busch Stadium (Cardinals) 0.866
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Athletics) 0.846
PNC Park (Pirates) 0.841
Kauffman Stadium (Royals) 0.828
Marlins Park (Marlins) 0.759
Oracle Park (Giants) 0.688

 
One ballpark joins the half-dozen holdovers from last year. Busch Stadium didn’t make the list last year, but it does this year with a park factor of 0.866 for homers. The bottom two parks remain the same with Marlins Park ranking next to last and Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) bringing up the rear. Power is hard to come by in these parks. Thus, they’re not the best places to stream for homers.

However, gamers can help their pitching bottom lines by utilizing fly-ball pitchers in these parks. Derek Holland can attest to the value of pitching at Oracle Park. He sported just a 39.8% GB% in 36 appearances (30 starts) spanning 171.1 innings last year, yet his HR/9 was only 1.00, per FanGraphs. In 82.0 innings pitched in San Francisco last season, he yielded only five homers and tallied a 3.51 ERA. Comparatively, in 89.1 innings pitched on the road, he coughed up 14 homers with a 3.63 ERA.

Drew Pomeranz is coming off of a terrible campaign with the Red Sox, but the Giants inked him to a one-year contract in the offseason. He’s a name to monitor in deeper leagues who could be a Holland-like reclamation project this season.

Marlins Park also did wonders for a couple of their starting hurlers. Rookie Trevor Richards (35.8% GB%) whipped up a 4.02 ERA with seven homers allowed (1.01 HR/9) in 62.2 innings pitched at home compared to a 4.81 ERA with eight homers allowed (1.13 HR/9) in 63.2 innings pitched on the road. Wei-Yin Chen’s 2018 home/road splits were nothing short of astonishing. In 55.1 innings pitched on the road, he coughed up 14 homers (2,28 HR/9) with an eye-popping 9.27 ERA. In 78.0 innings pitched at home, though, he allowed only five homers (0.58 HR/9) and recorded an elite 1.62 ERA. Richards is a draftable starting pitching option, while Chen is a viable streamer for his home tilts.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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