We’re more than one third of the way through the 2019 Major League Baseball season, so the samples aren’t tiny, but they aren’t huge either. Still, let’s take a look at what ballparks are playing the most and least hitter-friendly in baseball this season. Just for fun, mostly, but also to serve as a reminder that ballpark-adjusted numbers are the best way to judge which players are having All-Star-worthy seasons. Context is always helpful and it’s no different in baseball stats. 

All stats are through June 9 and we aren’t including the games played in Monterrey or Tokyo. 

Batting average

  1. Coors Field (Rockies), .296
  2. PNC Park (Pirates), .265
  3. Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox), .264
  4. Rangers Ballpark, .263
  5. Nationals Park, .261

This is important. I often hear fans lamenting how the Coors Field factor is overstated and they’ll generally point to home run numbers. Because of the thin air, the fences are deep and the outfielders have to play very deep, giving extra room for hits. The Coors factor is real and it shows up in batting average on balls in play more than anything else (Coors’ BABIP is a ridiculous .342). Look at that margin. To act like we shouldn’t factor in the advantage for Rockies hitters at home is urging us to feign ignorance. 

To be fair, we also need to note that the extreme hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field means the Rockies are generally one of the worst hitting teams on the road in baseball (they rank 29th in OPS on the road this season, for example). Anyway, onward! 

26. Progressive Field (Indians), .233
27. Rogers Centre (Blue Jays), ..233
28. Marlins Park, .233
29. Oracle Park (Giants), .231
30. Petco Park (Padres), .230

On-base percentage

  1. Coors Field, .360
  2. Guaranteed Rate Field, .338
  3. SunTrust Park (Braves), .337
  4. Angel Stadium, .337
  5. PNC Park, .334
    Rangers Ballpark, .334

26. Chase Field (Diamondbacks), .303
27. Rogers Centre, .303
28. Marlins Park, .303
29. Oracle Park, .296
30. Petco Park, .289

Slugging percentage

  1. Coors Field, .507
  2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, .475
  3. SunTrust Park, .452
  4. Angel Stadium, .452
  5. Rangers Ballpark, .452

26. Busch Stadium (Cardinals), .395
27. Wrigley Field (Cubs), .392
28. Oakland Coliseum (Athletics), .389
29. Oracle Park, .364
30. Marlins Park, .359

Surprised to see Wrigley in there? You shouldn’t be. The wind blows in there much more often early in the season than it blows out. For years, people have viewed it as this extreme hitter-friendly park and it’s nothing of the sort. 

Park Factor – runs

  1. Coors Field
  2. Great American Ball Park (Reds)
  3. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  4. PNC Park
  5. Comerica Park (Tigers)

26. Chase Field
27. Wrigley Field
28. Oakland Coliseum
29. Yankee Stadium
30. Target Field

Yankee Stadium? For real? We’ll chalk that up to sample size. It was sixth last year and is generally always in the top half. 

Park Factor – home runs

  1. Rogers Centre
  2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  3. Angel Stadium
  4. Great American Ball Park
  5. Guaranteed Rate Field

Again, notice the absence of Coors Field (it’s sixth). It’s much more a hit parade type of hitter paradise than a home run park. 

26. Busch Stadium
27. Target Field (Twins)
28. Marlins Park
29. Wrigley Field
30. Oracle Park

What’s interesting to me here is the Twins and Cubs hitting so many home runs in spite of their home parks. The Cubs are second in the NL with 102 homers. They have five players with at least 12 (Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber), which is on pace to top 30. The Twins are second in the AL with 125 homers. They have seven players in double digits. 

So there we have a quick snapshot of how the ballparks have played this season. Generally speaking, Coors Field is far and away the best park for hitters while places like Guaranteed Rate Field, Great American Ball Park, Camden Yards, SunTrust Park and PNC Park are hitter-friendly. Marlins Park, Oracle Park, Petco Park and Oakland Coliseum are among the best for pitchers. Knowing things like this before simply taking stats at face value helps in judging which players are actually having the best seasons.

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