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Daily Fantasy MLB Strategy: Singles Parks Versus Homerun Parks

Projecting fantasy points for teams or players in daily fantasy baseball is a quite difficult thing to do. There are tons of factors the influence how well we can expect hitters to perform. Handedness splits, park factors, weather, player projections, recent performance, pitcher skill, and stolen base matchups are several factors that each have an influence on hitting projection for the day. This is why I tend to advocate an “In Vegas We Trust” approach to projections, as sportsbooks do a good job combining these factors into a run line. But there are many issues with using a projected run line. One of these issues I will discuss today is how to interpret run projections at parks that are “Singles Friendly” versus parks that are “Homerun Friendly.”

What I Mean By Single vs Homerun Parks

If you look at our tools tab, you’ll find a tool called MLB park factors. This spreadsheet has a lot of different information in it, a lot of it having to do with handedness advantages of some parks over another. The numbers such as 103 or 98 refer to percentages of events at given park compared to average parks. For example, Fenway Park has a 103 singles park factor, which means 3% more singles are hit at Fenway than an average park. Coors Field is the most HR friendly park with an 116.5, meaning 16.5% more homeruns are hit at Coors than an average park.

There’s a column in this spreadsheet labeled Field/HR Diff. What this column does is it takes the average of singles and doubles factor for a given park, and subtracts it by the Homerun factor of that park. In other words, it figures out if a park is homerun “friendly,” or singles and doubles “friendly.” I will refer to both these types of parks as singles parks and homerun parks.

According to Field/HR Diff, Fenway Park is the biggest singles park, coming in at a 13 on the metric. The biggest homerun park is Great American, where the Reds play, which comes in at a -15.25 on the metric. In these cases, this refers to the fact that 9% more singles and doubles are hit at Fenway than at an average park, while 4% less homeruns are hit. For Great American, 13% more homeruns are hit than at an average park, while just singles and doubles are hit at a 2% below average rate.

In terms of fantasy, the broad implications are quite simple: Homerun hitters are favorable at homerun parks, while singles and doubles hitters do much better at singles parks.

Why Vegas Run Projections Can Be Misleading

Today, using Vegas lines, a reasonable projection for the Royals would be about 4.5 runs. This is not the highest run projection of the day, both the Orioles and Blue Jays have higher projections for example. Does this mean the Orioles and Blue Jays hitters are better targets than the Royals hitters?

The answer from a Park Factors perspective is that singles hitters on the Royals are great value, and homerun hitters on the Orioles and Blue Jays are great value, while the rest are not as favorable.

The reason I say this is because Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays park, is a homerun park. While not as extreme as Yankees Stadium or US Cellular, we can expect a large percentage of the runs scored in the Orioles/Blue Jays game to be scored with homeruns. Guys like Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion all seem great today for just this reason.

Unlike Rogers Centre, Kaufmann Stadium, the Royals park, is a singles park. Homeruns are hit almost 6% below average at Kaufmann, while singles and doubles are an above average event. The Royals are projected to score a lot of runs today, but mostly from singles and doubles. Guys like Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Mike Moustakas are going to be good plays, but they will not be as good as they look because they are homerun hitters. On the other hand, guys like Paulo Orlando, Alcides Escobar, and Christian Colon are quite good because they don’t hit homeruns, and therefore play into the strengths of the park.

Conclusion

Projected runs by Vegas sportsbooks is a good way to measure quality of matchup for hitters. But it’s important to keep the type of park in mind. Homerun parks favor homerun hitters, and singles parks favor singles hitters. Lean towards using favorable hitter types for any given park.

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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