The 2023 MLB season is nearing and for the first time since 2019, Major League Baseball is about to open up a normal season at the end of March. No more COVID delays, no more ballpark travel restrictions, no more lockout concerns. We are going to start on time (hopefully!) and play a full 162 games for everyone. 

But just as some things get back to normal, other parts of baseball that we have grown accustomed to will see massive changes. Pitch timers, limits on defensive shifts, and larger bases will have anywhere from mild to massive effects on the game in 2023. 

The other major changes will come in the form of new dimensions at various ballparks. How a park plays for both pitchers and hitters is an important variable for every fantasy and DFS manager looking to build a squad. How will these park factors impact play this year and what stadiums are adopting changes? 

Let’s first take a look at some changes made to various ballparks around Major League Baseball and see what changes we should expect. 


Comerica Park (Detroit)

The Detroit Tigers announced in early January that they would be making some drastic changes to their outfield walls, stretching from center field all the way to the right field foul pole. Those changes, according to will be:

• The center-field wall will be moved in from 422 to 412 feet and lowered from 8.5 to 7 feet.

• The wall in right-center field above the out-of-town scoreboard will be lowered from 13 to 7 feet in height.

• The right-field wall will be lowered to the same height, from 8.5 to 7 feet.

These are relatively massive changes that will impact many of the left-handed batters in the Tigers’ lineup as well as visiting lineups. No longer will the iconic tall centerfield wall keep as many balls in the park. 

The first player who comes to find when I see these changes is Riley Greene. The young phenom slugged just .362 with five home runs in 93 games last season when he had slugged over .500 three separate times in the minors. Austin Meadows and Akil Baddoo are also lefties who could benefit from these outfield changes. 

We aren’t really drafting any Tigers’ pitchers this year outside of Eduardo Rodriguez and some dart throws at Alex Lange in case he is the closer. But these new outfield dimensions could wreak havoc on any pitcher susceptible to giving up left-handed power.

Photo courtesy of Ilitch News Hub

Rogers Centre (Toronto)

The changes that the Blue Jays announced to their outfield are more extensive, but also much subtler than what we heard from Detroit. Their proposed changes for this year are: 

  • Left-field line: 328 feet (no change), wall at 14 feet 4 inches (previously 10 feet)
  • Right-field line: 328 feet (no change), wall at 12 feet 7 inches (prev. 10 feet)
  • Left center: 368 feet (prev. 375 feet), wall at 11 feet 2 inches (prev. 10 feet)
  • Right center: 359 feet (prev. 375 feet), wall at 14 feet 4 inches (prev. 10 feet)
  • Left-center power alley: 381 feet (prev. 383 feet), wall at 12 feet 9 inches (prev. 10 feet)
  • Right-center power alley: 372 feet (prev. 383 feet), wall at 10 feet 9 inches (prev. 10 feet)
  • Center field: 400 feet (no change), wall at 8 feet (prev. 10 feet)

It looks like it is going to be a bit tougher to knock the ball out of the park in Toronto if you choose to pull the ball down either line. Those distances are remaining but the walls are coming up towards both foul poles. 

Where it looks like we might see some increase in offense is in the power alleys, which are all being shortened, including by as much as 16 feet in right-center.  To offset that, the walls are going up in height in those areas, but that just means we will likely see a few more doubles off the wall than some scrapers getting a home run just over the shortened fence. 

We will definitely need some time with this one to see how it plays with these changes. With Detroit, we know the offensive environment has the opportunity to go up across the board. That’s not so clear here, but none of these changes should reduce our asking price for the Blue Jays studs being drafted this year. 

Photo courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays

Why Are Park Factors Important for Fantasy?

The Toronto and Detroit stadiums are good examples of how we can evaluate and utilize park factors to our advantage in fantasy baseball. There are a couple of ways we can do this:

  1. Exploiting lineups in leagues with daily lineup changes or in DFS
  2. Using park factors to evaluate pitchers based on how they historically play to that pitcher’s handedness
  3. Using park factors as tie-breakers between marginal players in late-round drafting situations

There are more and more fantasy sites that now offer weekly leagues, but with an option for a Friday/mid-week swap for injuries, lineup adjustments, or other shifting around. Using park factors, we can find perfect opportunities to swap out players with marginal to weak park factors for another bench player who might be facing second-tier pitchers at Great American Ballpark or stream pitchers who might face the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum (second-lowest in homerun park factor). 

In drafting, park factors can also help make a snap decision between two otherwise similar players. Consider this example: In NFBC leagues, Andrew Benintendi (OF51, ADP 218.9) and Ramón Laureano (OF52, 219 ADP) are picked within one slot of each other in January drafts. Here are some career comparisons:










Career Exit VelocityCareer Hard Hit%Projected Lineup #
Andrew Benintendi31630.3520.4310.78288.7 MPH36.3%2nd
Ramón Laureano16400.3240.4440.76888.8 MPH39.1%2nd


There are some clear things that separate them (experience being a major one), but a lot of similarities there. If you need more on-base percentage, you would go with Benintendi. If you are short on steals, Laureano might be your man. 

But all things being equal, Andrew Benintendi moving to the White Sox and Guaranteed Rate Field might tip the scales his way when you are on the clock and faced with the decision.

Guaranteed Rate Field3-Year Park Factor Averages:

Runs – 8th
Home Runs – 2nd
OBP – 11th
Overall – 7th

Oakland Coliseum3-Year Park Factor Averages:

Runs – 28th
Home Runs – 29th
OBP – 28th
Overall – 28th

Certainly, many other factors come into play and this just considers them in a vacuum. But 81 potential games at Guaranteed Rate Field over 81 games at Oakland Coliseum could be a useful tie-breaker.

Best Offensive Parks 

According to Statcast data on Baseball Savant, here are the top three offensive parks for each of these categories from 2020-2022:

RunsHitsSinglesDoublesHome RunsStrikeoutsOverall
Coors FieldCoors FieldCoors FieldFenway ParkGreat American Ball ParkCoors FieldCoors Field
Great American Ball ParkFenway ParkKauffman StadiumCoors FieldGuaranteed Rate FieldKauffman StadiumGreat American Ball Park
Fenway ParkKauffman StadiumFenway ParkKauffman StadiumDodger StadiumPNC ParkFenway Park


Takeaways: We knew that Coors and Great American Ball Park were hitter’s paradise, but Fenway and Kauffman have been quite friendly offense as a whole, although not necessarily home runs. Two new stadiums took over second and third place for home runs after last year. Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox) and Dodger Stadium now boast dimensions for plenty of home runs. 

Best Pitcher Parks

According to Statcast data on Baseball Savant, here are the top three pitcher-friendly parks for each for these categories from 2020-2022:

RunsHitsSinglesDoublesHome RunsStrikeoutsOverall
T-Mobile ParkT-Mobile ParkYankee StadiumT-Mobile ParkComerica ParkT-Mobile ParkT-Mobile Park
Petco ParkPetco ParkT-Mobile ParkCiti FieldOakland ColiseumTropicana FieldOakland Coliseum
Oakland ColiseumTropicana FieldAmerican Family FieldPetco ParkKauffman StadiumPetco ParkPetco Park


Takeaways: Looking for a reason to throw an extra dollar or two at George Kirby or Logan Gilbert this year? T-Mobile Park looks like the park pitchers dream about. Yankee Stadium likely only rates this high on the singles because it is a power alley that allows a lot of home runs and doubles. Pitchers for the Padres also get a bump considering how weak Petco Park is playing for offenses. And I also think we have uncovered the reason for the Tigers moving their fences in and down for 2023. 

What to Watch For in 2023

Besides the drastic effects the fence will have on Comerica Park and Rogers Centre, there are a number of things we can watch out for in terms of park factors this season. 

The primary thing fantasy managers will be watching early in the season will be how the new shift rules affect batters who are heavy-handed to one side of the field. With the rules now stating that teams on defense must have two infielders on either side of second base, does that open up spacious outfields for even more hits and runs production in 2023? 

Two parks with huge outfields are Coors Field and Oakland Coliseum. We know from above these parks are wildly different in how they play for offense, but could both see a spike in runs and hits because of no-shift rules? 

Essentially, will the no-shift rule be the tide that raises all offensive boats in 2023? 

Good luck out there this season and hopefully the baseballs are flying around the park again soon. 


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