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Postby RynMan » Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:13 pm

BobbyRoberto wrote:More ballpark facts:
The Reds' ballpark is thought of as a hitter's park, but according to ESPN ballpark stats, it's 23rd out of 30 in park effects for scoring runs. Last year, the park was 27th. It is above-average for HR, but not runs.

The Diamondbacks park was 9th-best for runs scored last season (1.068), 5th in 2003 (1.215), but is last this year (0.540). I just can't believe that's accurate, but that's what it says.


BR: Im not too familiar with ballpark factors. Can you explain to me how a park can change as far as a hitters/pitchers park goes in the span of a year or two, without any modifications to it?
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:23 pm

RynMan wrote:
BobbyRoberto wrote:More ballpark facts:
The Reds' ballpark is thought of as a hitter's park, but according to ESPN ballpark stats, it's 23rd out of 30 in park effects for scoring runs. Last year, the park was 27th. It is above-average for HR, but not runs.

The Diamondbacks park was 9th-best for runs scored last season (1.068), 5th in 2003 (1.215), but is last this year (0.540). I just can't believe that's accurate, but that's what it says.


BR: Im not too familiar with ballpark factors. Can you explain to me how a park can change as far as a hitters/pitchers park goes in the span of a year or two, without any modifications to it?


The ESPN park factors are totally screwed up, seeming to randomly recalculate themselves when you re-load the page at times. FWIW, it's now shwing AZ as a 1.138 for runs, in line with the past.

Park factors do show fluctuation from year to year which can be the result of normal randomness like all stats---ballplayers have a true talent level, but they don't perform the exact same way every night, month, or year--as well as other factors. Park factors can be impacted by weather, wind, time of day (check out Philly's day versus night stats), modifications in the field, and other things.

Most stat guys use park factors averaged over a three year period to try to minimize the impact of the normal flux in the stat.
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Postby RynMan » Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:36 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
RynMan wrote:
BobbyRoberto wrote:More ballpark facts:
The Reds' ballpark is thought of as a hitter's park, but according to ESPN ballpark stats, it's 23rd out of 30 in park effects for scoring runs. Last year, the park was 27th. It is above-average for HR, but not runs.

The Diamondbacks park was 9th-best for runs scored last season (1.068), 5th in 2003 (1.215), but is last this year (0.540). I just can't believe that's accurate, but that's what it says.


BR: Im not too familiar with ballpark factors. Can you explain to me how a park can change as far as a hitters/pitchers park goes in the span of a year or two, without any modifications to it?


The ESPN park factors are totally screwed up, seeming to randomly recalculate themselves when you re-load the page at times. FWIW, it's now shwing AZ as a 1.138 for runs, in line with the past.

Park factors do show fluctuation from year to year which can be the result of normal randomness like all stats---ballplayers have a true talent level, but they don't perform the exact same way every night, month, or year--as well as other factors. Park factors can be impacted by weather, wind, time of day (check out Philly's day versus night stats), modifications in the field, and other things.

Most stat guys use park factors averaged over a three year period to try to minimize the impact of the normal flux in the stat.


Thanks Agnes for the explantation! How do they calculate the park factors to remove the fact that possibly better hitters have hit in the park in general instead of it being a "hitter park"?
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:49 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
RynMan wrote:
BobbyRoberto wrote:More ballpark facts:
The Reds' ballpark is thought of as a hitter's park, but according to ESPN ballpark stats, it's 23rd out of 30 in park effects for scoring runs. Last year, the park was 27th. It is above-average for HR, but not runs.

The Diamondbacks park was 9th-best for runs scored last season (1.068), 5th in 2003 (1.215), but is last this year (0.540). I just can't believe that's accurate, but that's what it says.


BR: Im not too familiar with ballpark factors. Can you explain to me how a park can change as far as a hitters/pitchers park goes in the span of a year or two, without any modifications to it?


The ESPN park factors are totally screwed up, seeming to randomly recalculate themselves when you re-load the page at times. FWIW, it's now shwing AZ as a 1.138 for runs, in line with the past.

Park factors do show fluctuation from year to year which can be the result of normal randomness like all stats---ballplayers have a true talent level, but they don't perform the exact same way every night, month, or year--as well as other factors. Park factors can be impacted by weather, wind, time of day (check out Philly's day versus night stats), modifications in the field, and other things.

Most stat guys use park factors averaged over a three year period to try to minimize the impact of the normal flux in the stat.


I'm like Rynman. I have no idea how the parks are taken into account with some of these stats. How is it calculated?
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Postby bigh0rt » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:37 pm

You always bring good stuff Hootie ;-D
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Postby Tavish » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:41 pm

RynMan wrote:Thanks Agnes for the explantation! How do they calculate the park factors to remove the fact that possibly better hitters have hit in the park in general instead of it being a "hitter park"?


Park Factors compare the rate that a team hits at home versus how they hit on the road. If the Red Sox score 10% more runs at home than on the road then Fenway is considered to be a 10% better hitter park. Park factors are not an exact science, more of a general overview of how a particular park plays.
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:42 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote
The ESPN park factors are totally screwed up, seeming to randomly recalculate themselves when you re-load the page at times. FWIW, it's now shwing AZ as a 1.138 for runs, in line with the past.

Park factors do show fluctuation from year to year which can be the result of normal randomness like all stats---ballplayers have a true talent level, but they don't perform the exact same way every night, month, or year--as well as other factors. Park factors can be impacted by weather, wind, time of day (check out Philly's day versus night stats), modifications in the field, and other things.

Most stat guys use park factors averaged over a three year period to try to minimize the impact of the normal flux in the stat.


You're exactly right about the ESPN park factors being totally screwed up. I figured that out recently when I was going back-and-forth between Runs, HR, etc. and the numbers kept changing. Down at the bottom of the screen, I clicked on "report a bug" and told them the problem I was having and they seem to have fixed it. I just went there and the factors look like they should now, with Cincy being 3rd-best in runs scored, rather than 27th, which is what I got earlier. If the park factors are now correct, one interesting note is that the Phillie's park has a higher PF than Coors Field, which is a bit of a shock considering how Coors Field has played over the years.

BronXBombers51 wrote
I'm like Rynman. I have no idea how the parks are taken into account with some of these stats. How is it calculated?


It appears that different places factor them slightly differently, depending on how much math work they want to do.

A basic way to do this is to take a team, say Boston.
For this example, Boston scores 25 runs in 5 home games and 20 runs in 5 road games.

Park Factor (Boston)=(runs at home/games)/(runs on the road/games)
PF(Boston)=(25/5)/(20/5)
PF(Boston)=(5)/(4)
PF(Boston)=1.25
What that says is that the Red Sox score 25% more runs at home than on the road.

A more advanced way would be to use runs per at-bats or runs per plate appearances, rather than games. If the Red Sox win all 5 of those hypothetical games, they might have fewer at-bats or plate appearances because they could go 5 games without batting in the 9th. It would be more accurate to use runs per plate appearances.

I don't know what ESPN uses.

Also, as mentioned above, it's generally a good idea to use 3-years of park factors for accuracy because within a season, you get some small sample size factors.

On the ESPN Park Factors page, they have Runs, HR, Hits, 2B, 3B, and BB. All of these occurences can have different park factors.

At this link:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf ... ffects.htm
The guy takes his park factors into even more detail because, if you think about it, the Red Sox are playing a lot more games in Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Skydome, and Tropicana Field than other teams, so the writer of the linked article tells how he breaks down his park factors to take into consideration the different visiting parks that a team plays in.

I hope that's not too complicated. The basic idea is that a neutral park is 1.00. Anything above that is a hitter's park, below that is a pitcher's park.

Interesting notes:
U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox) HR park factor--1.568 (56.8% more homers are hit at The Cell than in a neutral park).
Citizen's Bank Park (Phillies) HR park factor--1.544 (54.4% more homers hit at CBP.
RFK Stadium (Nationals) HR park factor--0.558

So, big OUCH if you have any hitters on the Nationals. Although, I would expect they'll change the dimensions of that park prior to next season after the recent revelation that the dimentions are mismarked.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:43 pm

Cool, thanks Tavish and BR. ;-D
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Postby RynMan » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:07 am

Tavish wrote:
RynMan wrote:Thanks Agnes for the explantation! How do they calculate the park factors to remove the fact that possibly better hitters have hit in the park in general instead of it being a "hitter park"?


Park Factors compare the rate that a team hits at home versus how they hit on the road. If the Red Sox score 10% more runs at home than on the road then Fenway is considered to be a 10% better hitter park. Park factors are not an exact science, more of a general overview of how a particular park plays.


Thanks BR and Tavish. ;-D

Do you guys really think its accurate? Seems like there are simply too many variables unaccounted for that would confound the results....
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:29 am

I think park factors are useful for sure. They may not be perfectly accurate, but when you look at the numbers, they follow right along with common thought.

For example, the top 5 hitter's parks (based on runs scored):
1. Citizens Bank Park (Phillies)
2. Coors Field (Rockies)
3. Great American (Reds)
4. Bank One Ballpark (Diamondbacks)
5. McAfee Coliseum (Athletics)

Those are all considered hitter's park by announcers, except maybe Oakland, which has been considered a pitcher's park the last few years.

The bottom 5 hitter's parks (runs scored):
26. Dodger Stadium (Dodgers)
27. Dolphins Stadium (Marlins)
28. RFK Stadium (Nationals)
29. Camden Yards (Orioles)
30. PETCO Park (Padres)

Again, those parks have been considered strong pitcher's parks, with Camden Yards being a bit of a surprise.

For the most part, I think they are useful. In the Bill James Handbook, the parks are broken down even more, so you can see that a park might be a pitcher's park but it could be better for left-handed batters and harder on right-handed batters. For example, Safeco Field has has a home run park factor of .86 for right-handed hitters, but a 1.13 for left-handed hitters. The park hurts righties but helps lefties in the home run department. This could be useful information if you're considering someone like Raul Ibanez.
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