X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


LINEUP RESOURCES

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Ballpark Factors: Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball

If you have ever selected a streamable pitcher based on a home park or benched an otherwise must-start arm at Coors Field, you already know how much a stadium can impact a player's bottom line.

Ballpark Factors quantify the influence each stadium has, allowing you to make the most of your fantasy team's real-life schedule. However, the math involved is approximate, and random fluctuations in weather patterns and sheer dumb luck can make the same parks play very differently from year to year.

Today, we continue our journey through baseball sabermetrics with a look at how each team's home stadium can play a factor in the fantasy baseball world.

Featured Promo: Want a free RotoBaller Premium Pass? Check out these sports betting promo offers from the top sportsbooks! All new sign-ups get a free bonus offer on their first deposit, and a free year of RotoBaller's Premium Pass for all sports ($450 value)! Sign Up Now!

 

How to Interpret Ballpark Factors

Ballpark factors are generally set to a base of 100 (or 1.000, which doesn't actually change anything), meaning that a park factor of 100 plays perfectly neutral. Factors greater than 100 signify that a given park allows more of that outcome, while numbers below 100 represent less of those outcomes.

There are multiple sources of ballpark factors, including Baseball Savant (aka Statcast), FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN. Each calculates its numbers a little bit differently, but they all use the base-100 scale listed above. There is no "correct" factor to use, as each system has its own merits. Just make sure you stick to a single source for any analysis to control for the variance.

The source you choose also dictates how much each point above or below 100 is "worth." A player only plays 50% of his games at home, with the rest of his schedule comprised of road games. Some sources such as Fangraphs halve all of their factors to accommodate this, making each point above or below 100 represent a one percent increase or decrease over a full season of stats. Other sources leave that to you.

If that's too confusing, it's fine to forget it. The only thing you need to know is that a park factor of 110 is considerably higher than a 105 mark. It's also important to note that ballpark factors aren't everything. If a particular park has a runs factor of 99, that isn't a strong enough argument to stream a pitcher there absent other compelling reasons.

 

Long Ball Hunting

When most fantasy managers think of ballpark factors, they think of homers. A park allowing plenty of bombs is viewed as a hitter's park, while parks allowing fewer dingers are more pitcher-friendly. In truth, this approach is too simplistic even if you only care about home runs.

The home of the Cincinnati Reds is known as a home run haven for good reason. In 2021, the stadium had a Statcast HR factor of 129 for right-handed batters and 133 for left-handed swingers. This means that the stadium helps power hitters regardless of which side of the plate they swing from. In contrast, Dodger Stadium posted a 133 HR factor for righties but just 113 for lefties, meaning that the park favored right-handed sluggers by a considerable margin.

If you've ever seen a player page on Baseball Savant, you may have come across an "Expected Home Runs by Park" table that seems like a shortcut to using ballpark factors. It's not, and the reason why is the following disclaimer: "This accounts for different wall heights and distances, but does not attempt to adjust for environmental effects." Environmental effects are a huge part of park factors, and ignoring them leads to the conclusion that Trevor Story would have hit more HR last year in 28 of the 29 non-Coors parks. That's absurd.

While most fantasy managers are familiar with certain ballparks allowing more or fewer homers than others, BABIP is an under-appreciated component of ballpark factors. Altitude, infield conditions, foul territory, the batter's eye, and the size of the stadium can all influence how a ballpark plays beyond just home runs.

 

Coors Canaveral

For example, the Colorado Rockies managed a .322 BABIP at home in 2021 against a road BABIP of .272. The Rockies have a similar split in every year of their existence, so that performance was no fluke. Players tend to perform a little better at home, but Colorado's splits seem indicative of more than that.

Indeed, Coors Field promoted more singles (116 per Statcast), doubles (120), triples (220), and homers (116) than the average park in 2021. The sample size of triples is usually too small to mean anything, but Coors Field has many quirks to help explain its extreme offensive environment.

It's a gigantic ballpark, offering plenty of real estate for balls to find grass. Breaking balls behave differently due to the elevation of the Mile High City, removing some pitching weapons. Fatigue may set in faster for the same reason. The introduction of the humidor has decreased the ballpark's HR rates compared to the complete bandbox it was at the height of the Steroid Era, but it still consistently posts the highest BABIPs in baseball. For this reason, fantasy gamers should generally be skeptical of Colorado hurlers.

Colorado is the most extreme example, but every stadium has some quirk that makes it unique. Fenway's Green Monster, the Trop's artificial surface, and the miles of foul territory in Oakland can all affect a player's fantasy stats.

That said, sometimes ballpark factors can lie. 81 games are a relatively small sample size, so a park could play dramatically differently in a given season than it has in the past or should be expected to moving forward. Some ballpark factors come in three-season or five-season variants to attempt to filter out some of this noise, but it's still something to consider in your analysis.

 

Conclusion

Ballpark factors quantify how much influence a player's environment has on his final totals. A 100 factor is league-average, with numbers above or below that indicative of more or less of whatever it is a factor for. Most fantasy managers think of homers when considering park factors, but singles, line drives, and even strikeouts have park factors as well. Platoon splits can also dictate where a given player is most likely to succeed. Stay tuned to learn more about how advanced stats can help you dominate your leagues in 2022.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!






LINEUP RESOURCES

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

Mario Ferraro18 mins ago

Lands On Injured Reserve
Maxx Williams19 mins ago

Elevated To Active Roster
Evan Rodrigues28 mins ago

Will Miss 2-4 Weeks
Jonas Brodin38 mins ago

On Track To Return Sunday
Ryan Lindgren45 mins ago

Ends Productive Outing With Injury
Marquise Brown1 hour ago

Activated From Injured Reserve
Justise Winslow1 hour ago

Expected To Play On Sunday
Mike Conley2 hours ago

Will Miss Another One On Saturday
Dalano Banton2 hours ago

Remains Out Versus Dallas
Fred VanVleet2 hours ago

Returning Against Mavs
Yuta Watanabe2 hours ago

Won't Play On Sunday
Chris Paul2 hours ago

Out Again On Saturday Evening
Alperen Sengun2 hours ago

Upgraded For Meeting With OKC
Logan Thompson2 hours ago

Expected To Start Saturday
Bruno Fernando2 hours ago

Out On Saturday
Josh Richardson3 hours ago

Remains Out Versus The Lakers
Keita Bates-Diop3 hours ago

Out On Saturday Night
Aleksander Barkov3 hours ago

Will Be A Game Time Saturday Due To Illness
Anthony Davis3 hours ago

Questionable Versus San Antonio
LeBron James3 hours ago

Probable For Rematch With Spurs
Alexandar Georgiev3 hours ago

Likely To Start Saturday
Justin Fields4 hours ago

Bears Could Hold Justin Fields Out To Avoid Long-Term Damage
Green Bay Packers5 hours ago

David Bakhtiari Questionable For Week 12
Odell Beckham Jr.5 hours ago

Not Expected To Play Until Late December
Ja'Marr Chase5 hours ago

Officially Out On Sunday
Deebo Samuel5 hours ago

Dealing With "Different" Hamstring Issue
David Krejci7 hours ago

Scores Twice In Bruins Win
Kirill Kaprizov7 hours ago

Extends Scoring Run With Two Points
Darcy Kuemper7 hours ago

Shuts Out Calgary
Lucas Raymond7 hours ago

Posts Two Assists In Friday's Win
Nikita Kucherov7 hours ago

Racks Up Three Assists
Shea Theodore7 hours ago

Logs Two Assists Versus Seattle
Jason Robertson7 hours ago

Takes Over League Lead In Goals
Shake Milton10 hours ago

Goes Close To A Triple-Double
Jerami Grant10 hours ago

Explodes For Career-High 44 Points
Kevin Durant10 hours ago

Finishes A Losing Effort With 36 Points
Bam Adebayo10 hours ago

Scores Season-High 38 Points
Trae Young10 hours ago

Goes Off For Season-High 44 Points
Giannis Antetokounmpo10 hours ago

Can't Be Stopped By Cavs
Josh Giddey10 hours ago

Flirts With A Triple-Double
Brandon Ingram10 hours ago

Suffers A Toe Injury
Anthony Davis16 hours ago

Posts Double-Double On Friday
Carlos Santana21 hours ago

Pirates Agree With Carlos Santana On Friday
Demarcus Robinson23 hours ago

Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson Questionable
Rondale Moore24 hours ago

Officially Out In Week 12
Raheem Mostert24 hours ago

Listed As Doubtful Against Texans
Deebo Samuel24 hours ago

Questionable To Face The Saints
Josh Jacobs24 hours ago

Questionable To Play In Week 12
Mike Williams24 hours ago

Ruled Out Against Cardinals
John Klingberg24 hours ago

Considered Day-To-Day
TB1 day ago

Alex Barre-Boulet Gets A Look After Impressing In The AHL
Ross Colton1 day ago

Ready For Action Again
Kyle Okposo1 day ago

Returns From A Six-Game Absence
Yegor Chinakhov1 day ago

Returns For Columbus
Kyle Palmieri1 day ago

Remains Out Friday
Linus Ullmark1 day ago

Suffers An Upper-Body Injury
Narciso Crook1 day ago

Red Sox Sign Narciso Crook To Minor-League Deal
Denyi Reyes1 day ago

Mets Sign Denyi Reyes
Kyle Allen1 day ago

Confirmed As Week 12 Starter
Kadarius Toney1 day ago

Chiefs Rule Out Kadarius Toney
Leonard Fournette1 day ago

Listed As Doubtful
Jerry Jeudy1 day ago

KJ Hamler Ruled Out For Week 12
Marquise Brown1 day ago

Cardinals Optimistic About Marquise Brown's Return
Kyler Murray1 day ago

Ready To Return Against Chargers
Greg Dortch1 day ago

A Game-Time Decision For Week 12
Lamar Jackson1 day ago

Should Play In Week 12
Milwaukee Brewers1 day ago

Blake Perkins Signs With Brewers
Elliot Soto1 day ago

Twins Re-Sign Elliot Soto
Los Angeles Angels1 day ago

Angels Sign Jacob Webb
Xander Bogaerts1 day ago

Padres Looking At Xander Bogaerts?
Brandon Nimmo1 day ago

Rays Among Teams Interested In Brandon Nimmo
Michael Conforto1 day ago

Cubs Considering Michael Conforto
Hoy Park2 days ago

Red Sox Acquire Hoy Park From Pirates
Chad Wallach3 days ago

Angels Re-Sign Chad Wallach
Cody Bellinger3 days ago

Rockies Interested In Cody Bellinger
Carlos Rodón3 days ago

Rangers Have Serious Interest In Carlos Rodon
Aaron Judge3 days ago

Giants Expected To Make Formal Offer To Aaron Judge
Bryce Harper3 days ago

Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
Hoy Park3 days ago

Pirates Designate Hoy Park For Assignment
Joely Rodríguez3 days ago

Red Sox Sign Joely Rodriguez
Hunter Renfroe3 days ago

Brewers Acquire Janson Junk In Hunter Renfroe Trade
Brandon Nimmo4 days ago

Giants Interested In Brandon Nimmo, Cody Bellinger
Trea Turner4 days ago

"Likely" Phillies' Top SS Target
Hunter Renfroe4 days ago

Angels Trade For Hunter Renfroe Tuesday
Ion Cutelaba5 days ago

Suffers Second-Round TKO Loss In Main Event
Kennedy Nzechukwu5 days ago

Shines In Main Event Spotlight
Chase Sherman5 days ago

Escapes Finishing Loss And Makes It To Decision
Waldo Cortes-Acosta5 days ago

Remains Undefeated In The UFC
Andre Fialho5 days ago

Takes Second Loses In As Many Contests
Muslim Salikhov5 days ago

Returns To Winning Ways With TKO Stoppage
Danny Roberts5 days ago

Continues To Slide With First Round Loss

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP