Let’s start with a basic fact that you (as a knowledgeable DFS player) likely already know: Chase Field in Arizona is good for hitting:
- Last year Chase Field averaged 2.73 HR’s per game, slightly more than the average at Coors, and good for 4th highest in MLB.
- It’s 1000 feet above sea level, 2nd highest in MLB.
- The weather is generally warm, and good for hitting.
That’s great if you like high scoring games and lots of home runs, and it’s also great if you are a DFS player, but not everyone is on board. Mike Hazen, General Manager of the Diamondbacks, wants change, and that change will come in the form of a humidor. Hazen is trying to “…make sure the balls maintain consistency throughout the course of the season.” but the overall impact will be less distance on hit balls, fewer home runs, and lower scoring games.
So how does this evil magic work? It’s actually pretty straight-forward.
The game balls will be stored in a humidor at 70 degrees and 50% humidity. That is of course a much higher humidity level than what we see in Arizona on an average day (sitting at a nasal-drying 8% as I write this). The added humidity will make the balls weigh more, and thus create less carry and distance than a dried-out ball. The big question is… how much of an impact are we expecting?
Dr. Allen Nathan, (a guy who must be smart because he’s a doctor) did a detailed study on this topic back in 2013, and concluded adding the humidor would cut down the total home runs at Chase Field by 37%. That is a drastic number. If accurate, using last years numbers, it would put the average home runs per game down to 1.72 HR/game, which is well below league average and would place Chase in the bottom tier of HR parks.
Will it go down as planned? Well, I guess we’ll find out soon enough, the change is supposed to be implemented in 4-6 weeks, “before the summer months set in”. In the meantime… milk that park for all it’s worth!
Happy Grinding everyone! – Kevin Roth
FYI: I got most of the info for this post here: http://insidethezona.com/2017/04/diamondbacks-humidor-2017-install-home-run-fly-ball/
… and here: http://www.hittrackeronline.com/stadiums.php