Welcome to the “MLB Ballpark Preview” article where I will cover the top five hitter-friendly ballparks in the MLB. There are a few honorable mentions, but these parks I picked out caught my eye when researching this topic. Knowing which parks to target and which parks to avoid when it comes to hitters will help you build your lineups on a daily basis. The MLB season is long and many hitters go through slumps and hot streaks, but the one constant is the parks will always remain the same. There are definitely situations that come up about weather being a factor and we’ll provide you with that information throughout each day either with daily articles or in our GroupMe chat for subscribers. The screenshots of each park below is from Swish Analytics and provides data from 2014 until now. The Alpha Dog when it comes to MLB ballparks is Coors Field, but before we get into the ballparks, we have some outstanding offers to take advantage of for the start of the MLB season.
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Home of the Colorado Rockies, there is simply no place like Coors Field. Year after year Coors Field ranks at the top of the list of ballparks due to the high altitude in Denver, Colorado. Looking at the field dimensions down the foul lines it looks as though this is an incredible tough ballpark. However, the high altitude trumps the distance. Coors Field sits at an altitude of 5,200 feet above sea level which is roughly one mile. The thin air allows the baseball to travel farther than any other ballpark in the MLB. The designers basically had to make the field extremely long due to the altitude, but that hasn’t stopped baseballs from flying around the park. Coors Field has led the MLB in runs scored in seven of the last eight years. The one year they didn’t, they came in second. The dimensions also play into a power alley for doubles and triples. Whenever Coors Field is on the MLB slate, the most important decision comes down to whether or not to roster players from their games. They will come at high ownership and in the highest projected total of the slate. For cash games, it’s crucial to have exposure on Coors Field players, but in tournament’s, fade at your own risk.
Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field has received the nickname “Coors Field Light”. The park has the second-highest altitude to Coors Field at 1,000 feet above sea level and also has a retractable roof. The difference between Coors Field and Chase Field in altitude is roughly around 4,200 feet. That goes to show how much of an advantage it is to play at Coors Field. Anyways, the retractable roof comes into play at Chase Field during the hot Arizona summer. During that time, Chase Field plays as a hitter’s paradise and a pitcher’s nightmare. When the roof is open it’s bombs away! The park was second in home runs and runs scored last season. Having the 25-foot wall in center field has caused most of the home runs to be hit down the right and left field lines. However, it has been amazing for players who thrive on doubles and triples. Last season, Chase Field led the MLB in most triples and was second in that category the year before. In many instances, players at Chase Field will go overlooked if there is a game in Colorado on the same night. Especially during the summer, fading hitters in Coors Field for hitters in Chase Field is a fantastic strategy.
Home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is probably the most known ballpark in the MLB. It is the oldest of any park by just a few years over Wrigley Field. It opened in 1912 and is probably the most unique designed park ever created. Highlighted by the 37-foot left field wall “The Green Monster” and “Peksy’s Pole” in right field which is only 302 feet away from home plate. Just to the right of dead center field, a unique corner known as “The Triangle” pushes the distance to nearly 420 feet. Left-handed pitchers who enter Fenway Park rarely leave unscathed. The Green Monster has served as a trampoline for baseballs as most right handed batters simply poke the ball off the wall for singles and doubles. Seeing David Price and now Chris Sale sign with the Boston Red Sox has been very surprising. Last season, Price allowed the most home runs, runs and earned runs in his career from just one season in Boston. He also allowed his highest WHIP and ERA since 2009. Stacking hitters against Price and Sale when they are playing in Boston and even game-stacking them with Red Sox bats who led the league in basically every hitting category last season, will pay off in a big way.
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Home of the Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park is a very hitter-friendly park. Miller Park has ranked in the top 10 in home runs in each of the past five years as they have led the league in home runs in two of those years. If you want to see a mascot sliding down a slide after a home run and the home of the sausage race, you’ve came to the right park. The slide is located near the top of the left field bleachers where Milwaukee’s mascot Bernie Brewer resides waiting for the next Ryan Braun bomb. This park also has a retractable roof and even though it isn’t located in a southern state, having the option to open the stadium in the summer has paid off for hitters playing in Milwaukee. Looking at the diagram above it doesn’t looks like your normal easy ballpark. However, it’s one of the sneakier hitter-friendly parks. Eight-foot walls around the entire park with no points of the park going over 400 feet plays into a very home run-friendly park. With Milwaukee’s home run leader Chris Carter (41 home runs last season) leaving town to go to the New York Yankees, the home run numbers may go down, but don’t shy away from targeting long ball hitters playing in Miller Park this season.
Minute Maid Park
Home of the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park was one of the most unique stadiums in the MLB. I say “was” because they have just finished some new renovations coming into this season. Center field used to consist of a grassy upward slope that had a flag pole on the field and measured 435 feet from home plate as you can see in the above diagram. The renovations that were made was moving center field to 409 feet from home plate and adding in a batter’s eye which has seemed to help batters in other ballparks. Triples will definitely go down due to the renovations and 409 feet from home plate is still a long ways for baseballs to fly, so there may not be that much of an increase to home runs. There are also train tracks going from the corner of left field to center field along with a 25-foot wall in left field which is why the distance to the bleachers is only 315 feet from home plate. Minute Maid Park also has a retractable roof and when it’s open during the summer, similar to Chase Field, baseballs fly around the yard. Houston, Texas is the fifth hottest city in the United States. The Astros and opposing teams become a great team to stack in the summer when the roof is open.
- Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds)
- Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians)
- Target Field (Minnesota Twins)
- Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
- Globe Life Park (Texas Rangers)
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @tyschmidt4. Have a great weekend and enjoy Opening Day!
*Ballpark Images from SwishAnalytics*