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Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports

An official journal of the American Statistical Association

Editor-in-Chief: Glickman, PhD, Mark

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.288
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.358

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Improving Major League Baseball Park Factor Estimates

Rohit A Acharya
  • Harvard University
/ Alexander J Ahmed
  • Harvard University
/ Alexander N D'Amour
  • Harvard University
/ Haibo Lu
  • Harvard University
/ Carl N Morris
  • Harvard University
/ Bradley D Oglevee
  • Harvard University
/ Andrew W Peterson
  • Harvard University
/ Robert N Swift
  • Harvard University
Published Online: 2008-04-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1108

The study of Park Factors (PF) is essential to the correct evaluation of player performance in Major League Baseball. We have identified two important problems with the commonly used formula which has been popularized by ESPN: it produces variable results due to unbalanced scheduling, and it has an inherent inflationary bias. To address these problems, we develop a new estimator for Park Factors using an ANOVA weighted fixed-effects model for run generation. Using simulated data, in addition to run data from 2000 through 2006, we show that this new estimator does not have the biases of the old estimator. From a strategic viewpoint, accurate PF values are needed to properly evaluate free agents and trade proposals, as well as to compare players for postseason awards. We develop a method to adjust statistics using Park Factors called a Neutral Park Adjustment (NPA), which takes into account the Park Factors of the entire schedule of a player, not simply their home park.

Keywords: park factor; baseball; hitter’s park; pitcher’s park; neutral park adjustment

About the article

Published Online: 2008-04-28

Citation Information: Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, ISSN (Online) 1559-0410, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1108. Export Citation

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