Daily Fantasy Baseball: Not All Parks Are Created Equal
It’s well known that the thin air of Coors Field is extremely conducive to runs scored in a game. In fact, the over/under line in most Rockies games tends to be nearly 1.4 times higher than any other game, a fact that skilled Daily Fantasy players take advantage of regularly on Fanduel and Draftkings. What Isn’t well known is that some parks heavily favor right handed hitters or left handed hitters.
If you register here at DFW you’ll gain access to a few spreadsheets we use regularly when setting our lineups. In the Tools section, you’ll find a spreadsheet labeled “MLB Park Factors.” In it, you’ll find compiled two years of data created at Fangraphs that shows what baseball stadiums are most conducive to singles, doubles and home runs for lefties vs righties, or vice versa.
1B DIFF, 2B DIFF, etc. shows the difference in factors, right handed hitters minus left handed hitters. Therefore, strong positive numbers in DIFF indicate a park favorable to righties in that category, and strong negative numbers indicate favor for lefties in that category. WAVG combines 1B, 2B, and HR in terms of Fanduel fantasy points, which should be the most useful statistic for Daily Fantasy purposes.
The most obvious thing to point out from this data is that Jacob’s Field (Indians) and Camden Yards (Orioles) are the best parks for lefties, and Target Field (Twins) and Fenway Park (Red Sox) are the best parks for righties. The reason why is field dimensions.
Look at this picture of Jacob’s Field. Notice anything? The left field wall is much higher than the right field wall. Because players mostly pull the ball, lefties will hit mostly at the right field wall and righties will hit mostly towards the left field wall. This is why there is such a massive difference in HR’s for lefties vs righties.
Now lets look at Target Field. It’s like a mirror of Jacob’s field, and that’s why righties fare so much better in the home run department there.
We also have places like Coors Field, where singles and doubles are extremely favorable for righties, but HR’s are favorable to lefties. Again, the answer is fairly clear, but for a different reason. The left field wall is actually further away than the right field wall. So while hitting a HR is more difficult, it’s also harder to field a line drive in play because there’s so much room.
What park a team is playing in makes a huge difference, both for considering a possible inflation or deflation in their numbers (i.e. Dustin Pedroia is not going to be nearly as good away as he will be at home), and also as a signal for how well any given player is going to perform that day. Consider both when making baseball lineups.
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