The Z Files: Looking Back at 2018 Park Factors
The Z Files: Looking Back at 2018 Park Factors

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

One of the first things I do when the season ends is run park factors. Part of it is practical, as they're needed for 2019 projections, but they're also fun to look at. Other than checking out the parks at the extremes, several venues piqued my curiosity. Front and center is Chase Field and the effect of the humidor. Another is SunTrust Park, as we now have a second season of data. Similarly, this is the second year Minute Maid Park played without Tal's Hill. Finally, one of the under-the-radar changes was Angel Stadium lowering the home run line in right field from 18 down to eight feet.

Before reviewing the 2018 factors, keep in mind applied park factors are three-year averages to flesh out the residual variance. The algorithm is designed to minimize the influence of the team by comparing hitting and pitching results home and away. That is, a hitter-friendly park isn't a result of a strong offense or weak staff, while a pitcher-friendly venue isn't due to a solid rotation or punchless lineup. Further, a venue favorable for homers isn't necessarily advantageous for runs, while a power-suppressing venue can be a boon for runs if it means more balls finding outfield grass. For a more comprehensive description of park factors, check out a piece I wrote in April 2017, The Necessary Evil of Park Factors.

Another important thing to understand is that park factors do not apply to all players in a linear fashion. Plus, when

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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