Power Hitter Limitations-Ballpark Comparison

One of the most overlooked facts in Strat-o-Matic is undoubtedly the ballpark effects on a power hitter.  Every major power hitter in Strat is assigned a power factor of eight chances per side on his card.  These homerun chances are normally adjusted through advanced rules by ballpark effects.    These ballpark effects dramatically effect the actual performance of a player and can in fact greatly skew the results over a lengthy period of time, i. e. a baseball season.  The differences in two ballparks can be great in real baseball, but these differences are exacerbated in Strat.  Below is a comparison of three players in two divergent ballparks:

For demonstration purposes I selected Troy Glaus and Jim Edmonds.  Additionally, my home ballpark, Comerica( Pitchers Park ), Riverfront (Neutral Park ) and Enron (Hitters Park ) were selected for the parks. 

Troy Glaus-

Troy Glaus has the standard power hitter 8 chances out of 64 possibilities per side that are distinguished with a # or ballpark effect.  From the left side of the plate without the ballparks effects he has whopping 19 chances out of 64 to clear the fences.  With the ballpark effects he clears the fences 15 times out of 64 with the eight chances being based on the ballpark These calculate out to be approximately 22 out of 64 at Enron, 19 out of 64 in Riverfront and only 15 out of 64 in Comerica.  Similarly, he finds a similar skewing with Enron seeing 12 of 64, Riverfront realizing 8 of 64 and a mere 4of 64 in Comerica.   

These homeruns lost are further exaggerated when the pitchers card is factored in and especially when the average is lowered by the lack of homerun opportunities.  In checking Glaus card there are no singles adjustments to his lefty side, so the entire 6% lost at Comerica in homeruns directly translates into a commensurate drop in average.  The right side does have singles adjustments, but not enough to mask the power of Comerica. 

Gary Sheffield-

Sheffield also has the standard adjustment for power hitters.  From the left side of the dish he has 7 chances out of 64 and 14 of 64 from the right side without ballpark effects.  Including the ballpark effects he would have 4 chances out of 64 from the left side and 11 of 64 from the right side, with these being adjusted to be 15 out of 64 from the left side at Enron , 11 out of 64 at Riverfront and 7 of 64 at Comerica.  From the right side the results would be an adjusted 15 of 64 at Enron, 12 at Riverfront and 9 out of 64 at Comerica. The differences are again further exaggerated when the pitcher card is factored in and the average is also dramatically affected in this sample.  Sheffield unlike Glaus does not as great a diminishing of his average due to the Homeruns and in fact picks up more hits from his singles designation both from the left and right side.

The point to this is simple, as Strat does not mirror the stats identically because of these statistical derivations.   In fact, Glaus would be a much less valuable card for me possessing Comerica than Sheffield is, as Sheffield Homeruns are not as effected, while his overall hit total and average see an appreciable gain. 

At the request of a Stat buddy, I have throughout this season been doing little studies and utilizing the standard rating book and have received a dramatic difference with regards to my record at home and on the road.  In fact, I have actually been outhomered by my opponents at Comerica 59 to 48, but the combination of lack of average and the lack of long flies off my primary strikeout type pitchers has more than made up the difference and placed me 30 games over .500 at Comerica.  On the road, I have nearly equaled my opponent 83 to 85, but find myself six games under .500 on the road.    These numbers have been further forged from strategic placement of homerun throwing pitchers having the majority of their starts at home, while having the major league stingy homerun pitchers being utilized more in road games.

Finally, I replayed three seasons for Glaus and Sheffield with all of their games being played at either Comerica, Enron or at one-half Enron and one-half Comerica.  The results were as expected as Sheffield solely due to his card and not actual stats was able to hit for a higher composite average and homerun ratios than Glaus did in either ballpark and in the combination.