MLB Weather & Ballpark Factors In Baseball Betting
More than any other sport, the location, and conditions of a MLB baseball game are a paramount factor when determining how a baseball game plays out and what betting odds one should assign to each game.
Baseball ballparks across the country are wildly different, and each creates unique environments for pitchers and hitters. Weather is also a massive factor when determining the runs-scoring potential of each game on the board which affects the MLB baseball betting lines and odds. For baseball bettors, this adds another element to wagering that isn’t as widely weighted compared to other betting markets. For instance, both NBA and NHL games are played indoors with the same regulation courts and ice hockey rinks, respectively.
The NFL changes things up a bit, with many outdoor stadiums and different kinds of turf, but once again, the field dimensions are the same no matter where the game is played. Weather is certainly something to consider in NFL but isn’t nearly as significant compared to baseball betting.
The Best MLB Betting Sites Of 2018
MLB Ballpark Factors As Baseball Betting Strategy
In Major League Baseball, the ballpark in which a game is being played is a massive part of predicting offense. While the infield dimensions never change, the outfield of each ballpark varies widely. According to MLB rules, distance from home plate to the outfield wall can vary from 290’ to 400’ feet. This provides architects with plenty freedom to customize their own ballparks. This freedom makes baseball unique concerning the field of play and creates “hitter’s” and “pitcher’s” parks.
Baseball ballpark factors are crucial when evaluating offensive potential and pitching matchups. Even the league’s best pitchers may struggle in a ballpark like Coors Field, the ultimate hitter’s park. Likewise, the best offenses can be held down by mediocre or poor pitching if they are playing in an extreme pitcher’s park, like Petco Park.
Rocky Mountain High – Extreme Case Of Ballpark Factors In MLB Betting
Before we go over which ballparks benefit pitchers and hitters the most, there’s one that is far and away above the rest of the field. That’s Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies, which is located in Denver, Colorado.
Coors’ is easily the most hitter-friendly ballpark in modern times. While its dimensions aren’t exactly small, there is plenty of green grass out there for extra-base hits. The thin air, thanks to the high altitude is the primary reason that balls fly off the bat.
When it comes to stadiums that produce offense, there is Coors Field and then every other stadium in baseball. This, of course, is profoundly reflected in the sportsbook odds when games are played at Coors’. There may not be another game on the board with over 8.5 runs when it comes to totals, but Coors seems to be between 9-10 runs for nearly every game.
Analyzing Data In MLB Betting
Our favorite site to evaluate park factors is ParkFactors.com, which is a partner site of ScoutingBook.com. For in-season information and data year by year, we also want to point bettors to ESPN Park Factors. Park Factors analyzes three years of data and rate each park regarding offensive potential, the higher the number on the right, the better it is for offenses and the worse the park is for pitchers. The lower the number, the worse it is for offense and the better it is for pitchers.
Baseball Ballpark Factors Broken Down
Offensive prowess is factored into these numbers a bit, but park factors also take into account how away teams perform at each stadium. The difference between a hitter-friendly ballpark compared to one that favors pitchers can be stark.
Diving in deeper, we can see can which stadiums benefit right-handed hitters compared to left-handed hitters. This information is especially useful when evaluating pitcher matchups and finding hidden value where others may not see anything in the lines. Most ballparks won’t have drastic splits concerning handedness, but a few have stark splits in terms of which side of the plate a hitter lines up. For example, in spacious Petco Park, left-handed batters have a much better shot of hitting home runs than right-handed batters.
MLB Weather Factors At Baseball Ballparks
Weather in baseball is another factor that some bettors fail to look at extensively when handicapping MLB baseball. When we talk about the weather or atmospheric conditions at the ballpark, we’re usually not talking about the potential for a rainout.
Baseball Betting – Rain Rules
Rainouts happen in baseball, and they’re certainly something to be considered. However, in many cases, these games are postponed before they even start. Also, the vast majority of rainouts occur in the first third of the season, so they’re not much of a factor for the better part of the year.
Instead, the focus should be on climates and how they affect potential offense. Rain is just a small part of figuring out how atmospheric conditions might help predict a baseball outcome. Aspects like wind, temperature, humidity and air pressure are all factors bettors should consider.
Baseball Weather Factor – MLB Stadium Location
As we went over with Coors Field, it’s not so much their ballpark dimensions that make the stadium a bandbox. It’s the climate. Playing a mile above sea level is significant, as the air density is low and balls will fly higher and harder off the bat, regardless of who is on the mound. Air pressure is amplified at Coors, but in most other ballparks, it’s mostly about temperature and humidity. As a general rule, the higher the temperature and humidity, the better it is for offenses and the worse it is for pitchers.
Wind Direction At MLB Stadiums
The ballpark wind direction is the toughest factor to analyze when it comes to weather. It clearly has an effect on balls once they’re hit in the air and also factors into a pitcher’s velocity depending on which way it’s blowing. For instance, wind that is blowing in, is a wind that is at a pitcher’s back is going to make it tougher on hitters. However, wind blowing out is going to help balls gain more lift and bump up offensive numbers.
Wrigley Field Wind Blowing Direction
Wind direction can be a huge factor in some MLB ballparks, such as Wrigley Field. Wrigley is notorious hitter’s park when the swirling Chicago winds are blowing out, but firmly a pitcher’s park when there is a strong wind blowing in which may affect even the best hitters in MLB.
Weather And Ballpark Factors – Putting It All Together
We wrote a specific article outlining weather and ballpark factors because it’s something that many bettors either write off or the only factor in slightly when handicapping baseball. The oddsmakers’ numbers certainly factor in these when creating odds for each game and update them on the fly as new information is learned, but there’s certainly some value in taking a deeper look at these factors that few other bettors are considering.