MLB Park Factors Overview (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
A new, albeit abbreviated, season of data provides reason to check in on our updated MLB Park Factors. The Rangers opened a new ballpark in 2020, and two parks, Marlins Park and Oracle Park, featured notable renovations. All three are analyzed. Additionally, the parks with the most extreme factors for run-scoring and homers are also featured.
Globe Life Field (Rangers) First-year Recap
Globe Life Field played nothing like its extremely hitter-friendly predecessor, Globe Life Stadium. It barely nudged scoring up with a park factor of 1.013 for runs, and it has the sixth-lowest park factor for homers (0.871). The small sample enhances the value of keeping tabs on how the ballpark plays during the 2021 season before treating the park factors as gospel.
Ballpark Renovations Recap
Marlins Park (Marlins)
The same small sample caveat applies to Marlins Park and the forthcoming Oracle Park, but some data is better than none. Marlins Park remains an offensive wasteland, despite the renovations. It sported a park factor of 0.817 for runs and 0.753 for homers, according to ESPN’s 2020 MLB Park Factors.
Oracle Park (Giants)
The renovations at Oracle Park greatly impacted offense in San Francisco. The traditional run and homer-suppressing park boosted both, with park factors of 1.048 and 1.083, respectively. Those park factors are in stark contrast to the three-year marks of 0.919 for runs and 0.772 for homers. Adjust expectations accordingly.
These are the top run-scoring environments in Major League Baseball, and Coors Field is the unrivaled top dog. Great American Ball Park and Fenway Park are the other parks that boost runs by more than 10%. Keep these parks in mind when streaming for offensive stats.
It’s best to use last year’s park factor data from above for Marlins Park and Oracle Park. Citi Field knocks scoring down a whopping 15.9%, while the Oakland Coliseum and Dodger Stadium join it as the others that reduce scoring by more than 10%. These are the top parks to stream pitchers in before also factoring in the quality of opposition (the Dodgers and Padres both boast loaded offenses, and I wouldn’t advise streaming against them even with the pitcher-friendly park factors at their respective home digs).
There’s significant overlap in this section with the run-scoring amplifying parks, with Great American Ball Park and Coors Field flip-flop spots at the top. Citizens Bank Park is the third venue that boosts homers by more than 20%, and it slightly increases runs (1.034 park factor for runs). Need some dingers? These are the parks to chase them.
It’s challenging to reach the seats in eight of these nine parks — Oracle Park being the exclusion after last year’s renovations. Fly-ball pitchers make for more enticing streaming options in these venues.
Although, Kauffman Stadium ticks up singles (1.102), doubles (1.153), triples (1.329), and runs (1.061). Globe Life Field and Target Field stand out from the pack, too, due to bumping up runs with park factors of 1.013 and 1.007 for runs. Neither offers across-the-board hit boosts — beyond the homer suppression — like Kauffman Stadium, though.
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