- Since 1997, he has been writing on the theory of imaginary baseball games and player analysis.
- Winner of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Best Baseball Article for 2013.
Deciding how to manage the MLB’s fleet factors for 2020 is one of the many challenges in creating MLB projections for 2021, as ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball Projection Manager. The effectiveness of the inclusion of park cues in the 60 game plan should be evaluated.
To give a brief overview, each championship has a different effect. An index can be created for each stored statistic. Some of them are more useful, for example. B. The runs, the hits and the home runs. Others, like. B. Walks and raids are very important, but rarely discussed.
Traditional parking factor calculation tools allow the results of a given event to be compared at home and on the road. For example, to determine the Wrigley Field Race Index, the games scored for the Cubs and allowed by their home pitchers are compared to the total of games scored and allowed on the road.
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The formula is designed to maximize dependence on opponent quality. However, a season of 162 games is not enough to fully normalize all factors, so park factors are shown as an average over three years.
This begs the question: If a three-year average is required, how reliable is a factor based on a two-month season in 2020?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
The best way to demonstrate this is to look at parking factors that are two months apart. The 2017-2019 data will be used with a seasonal distribution of April-May, June-July, August-September. The March games go into the first segment and the October games go into the last segment. The factors for runs and home runs are examined using standard deviations.
Two different studies are underway. The first part examines each team’s two-month factors for the 2017-2019 season. The second evaluates the factors of the first third, middle third and final third of each team for the 2017-2019 period. Thus, the standard deviation between the three factors is calculated.
The 2017-2019 data, looking at the standard deviations between the lower, middle and upper thirds of the park seasonal factors, are as follows.
Standard deviations from standard ratio of home runs
For this analysis, we use a site that is calculated to be neutral (100) for homes in 2020. Assuming a mean standard deviation of 16, the actual ratio could be between 84 and 116. This gives a range of 27.6 to 32.4 hits, extrapolated to 30 homers, on a neutral site. Of course, each projection must be treated as a zone. However, the variability of the parking coefficient further increases the above margin. The difference of five home runs and the corresponding runs and RBIs separates players by at least one notch or even two.
Typical kilometre errors
Here the average standard deviation is about 14. Applying the same process, a pitcher with an ERA of 3.60 on a neutral site has an ERA between 3.35 and 3.85. This half uncertainty is in addition to the variability already present in the design of the ACT.
It should be noted that the factors for 2020 are an average of the two previous seasons, so the above margins are smaller in practice. However, using fleet factors for 2020 adds a lot of uncertainty to a process that is already different.
At this point, one might question whether the investigation should only cover the last two months, since the 2020 campaign essentially lost the last two months of the regular season. The standard deviation between each segment (beginning, middle and end) for 2017-2019 is as follows.
Standard deviations from standard ratio of home runs
The variance is the same, and the standard deviation is about 16. In other words, using only the August and September data does not reduce uncertainty.
Typical kilometre errors
Again, the standard deviation is the same as the implementation rate of the first study, yielding a similar level of noise for MRB when only the August and September data are used.
In fact, there is no specific standard deviation that determines whether the 2020 parking factors are reliable enough to be used in the 2021 planning process. It’s more of a subjective feeling and frankly, after evaluating the data above, I was inclined to ignore the 2020 factors and use the three-year average from 2017 to 2019.
However, I was uncomfortable with this decision until I realized there was another consideration. The geographical calendar totally misrepresents the relative nature of the park’s factors. Basically, there were three different leagues: East, Central and West. The individual indices of the team’s national parks were compared to only nine other series in their region.
This is an extreme example, but suppose the ten most family-friendly places are in the same region and the ten least family-friendly places are in the same region. To determine the home run park ratios, each region will have a park with a ratio close to 100. The three parks are not the same for corpses though, they just ended up in the middle of their subset.
While the above studies have shown that park factors from two months of play are reliable, specific results from the past season cannot be included in the three-year average. This is not a merger that compares apples to apples.
Therefore, the same parking factors were used for the 2021 projections as for 2020. They are simply more reliable than the 2020 parking data.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Last season was the inaugural season of Globe Life Field and also the first year after the renovation of the Marlins and Oracle parks. After the season, it was also discovered that humidifiers had been installed at Fenway Park, T-Mobile Park and Citi Field. We still don’t know where Toronto will play its home games. Finally, it was just announced that five more unspecified seats will get humidifiers and that baseball will be less inflatable in 2021. Good times.
Here’s how each of the above would work in the 2021 MLB projections.
The life field of the globe
To know where we are going in 2020, we had to make a reasoned guess. Because of its size and the assumption that the roof will be closed, the Globe Life Field was assumed to be much smaller than the Globe Life Park to verify neutrality. But, and this is an anecdote from baseball practice, the players point out that Globe Life Field plays much less with an open roof. Last season the roof was only open once – and that was a blast.
A game means nothing, of course, but chances are the roof will open early in the season, and science tells us it should be more pleasant to play outside. The problem is that the number of games played with an open roof is unknown, as is the degree of regulation. Therefore, the same speculative factors used in 2020 are carried over to 2021. Keep in mind that the range of outcomes of the Texas Rangers design is greater than the more reliable park factors.
Parc des Marlins
A minor subjective adjustment was made in 2020 to move the fences in right field a few feet. Since there were not enough matches to assess the actual effect (and this will not be the case for three full seasons), the empirical correction was applied to this season.
Things are starting to get dangerous. Like Marlins Park, the fences at Right Field have been moved to the 2020 season. The same logic should therefore apply to the simple use of the 2020 indices. However, there have been numerous reports of different wind currents after the club landed on the open-air observation platform in right field. During summer camp and throughout the season, San Francisco Giants hitters and pitchers marveled at the way they carried the ball and seemed to notice different types of wind. There were other factors at play, such as the unusually hot summer, but the sheer number of players was alarming.
Forecasting is first and foremost a data-based process. Nevertheless, observation is an integral part of the scientific method. There is not enough data to confirm this hypothesis, but there is strong circumstantial evidence that Oracle Park would play less well if the holes in right field were left closed. As a result, subjective changes were made to the Oracle Park indices. I always thought he was friendly with the pitcher, but not that friendly.
From the writer’s point of view, the uncertainty can be explained by the fact that some middle- and lower-level hitters, like Mike Yastrzemski, hope that the park is in fact more favorable to hitters. On the other hand, watch out for the pursuit of Kevin Gausman, who, having spent most of his career on pitching, might benefit from working on a pitch suitable for pitchers.
Fenway Park, T-Mobile Park and City Field.
Installing a humidifier is not as simple as determining what happened in Colorado and Arizona and then applying it to other rooms. The reason for the humidity at Coors Field and Chase Field is that the baseballs are drying out. The reasons were slightly different, but the effect was the same: firmer, softer. Storage in a humidifier adds moisture, which decreases elasticity and thus makes the club less likely to leave.
Living conditions in Boston, Seattle and New York don’t even come close to those in Denver and Phoenix. The un-moistened bales were not as dry, etc. This is extreme, but depending on where and how the balls are stored, placing them in the humidifier can actually increase the bounce as the original ball absorbs more water. Again: It’s unlikely, but plausible. Ultimately, if we can’t measure the difference in baseball with and without a humidifier in these areas, it’s not worth making adjustments.
Toronto Blue Jays.
It’s wild enough; hopefully the Blue Jays can play in Rogers Center, but that’s not the MLB’s decision. Last season, Toronto played many home games at Sahlen Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate. Last year, when there was no minor league season, the park was free and there were no conflicts.
This summer, too, suggesting that TD Ballpark, the Blue Jays’ spring training center in Dunedin, might be the right choice. The size of the site is not extreme in either direction, although it is not clear how weather may affect things. Initial speculation is that the number of hours will favor pitchers. For now, however, Toronto is expected to play half of its games at the Rogers Centre.
Reportedly, the 2021 ball will be slightly softer than usual, making it bounce less. The effect would be a reduction in output speed, which is much more relevant to performance than strikes. However, it is assumed that the ball must also be smaller, which can counteract the exit velocity, since a smaller ball offers less air resistance and thus the flying balls can fly further. The effects can be modeled, but until the new balls are used in games, everyone can still guess, even if it’s a reasoned guess. Except for additional information, no changes will be made as a result of this announcement.
Nevertheless, it can be assumed that pitchers with high flying ball speeds are least affected. There could be a large group of fighters for whom the loss of five to ten feet of flight would be devastating. This group includes those who have benefited the most from the 2019 year-end ball. While the regression is already underway for those who hit, an even greater correction will kick in when the ball actually loses a yard of distance.