Toughest Baseball Stadiums to Play in During the MLB Playoffs
So now that the playoffs are set, let us look at the toughest stadiums to play at during the playoffs.
Postseason baseball is the shortest playoff period of any best-of sport (i.e., not including the NFL). As a result, every home game is very important, and the fans make every pitch tough for the opposing team.
Oddly enough, five of the eight playoff teams finished with a 50-31 home record. The Yankees finished at 51-30, the Giants at 48-33 and the Orioles at 47-34.
Let us look at all eight stadiums and how tough it will be for their opponents.
The Oakland Coliseum
One of the only multi-purpose stadiums remaining (the Oakland Raiders still play here as well), the Coliseum is a massive venue that isn't too daunting.
The Athletics, the offensive juggernaut (kidding), hit a paltry .235 at home. They won more games at home than some might have expected, thanks to their impressive rookie pitchers.
What else is there to say? No one would label Oakland as a tough stadium to play in, nor would they consider their fans to be the most intense.
When your team does not possess a firm advantage in their home park and your fans don't cause as big a ruckus as other teams, the overall advantage is minimal.
So how did they manage a 50-31 home record? Your guess is as good as mine, but in the playoffs, it would probably be one of the easier stadiums to play in as a visiting team.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Camden Yards is a very historic environment. The Oriole faithful have been starved for playoff baseball and are ready to support their miracle team that just upset the Texas Rangers.
The Orioles had the 16th highest batting average at home (.258), yet they had the second most home runs with 127.
Camden Yards does give up a lot of home runs, and playing against the well known Yankees (who also lead the league in home runs), I don't think the stadium will be one of the toughest in the playoffs.
After being spoiled with the 2011 World Series, the Cardinals have a very faithful fanbase and are looking to win another series, this time without Albert Pujols.
Cardinal fans are often viewed as one of the best fanbases in all of pro sports.
The Cardinals were 18th in home runs in the league and third in average with .285.
A team with a high average, especially at home, can be very conducive to winning those close playoff games.
Busch Stadium can be a tough venue, but in comparison, I think it ranks in the middle.
The Detroit fans are usually pretty rowdy, and they love their Tigers.
I can't believe that Comerica Park has been around for 12 years already, pretty crazy when I remember its opening in 2000.
The first game showed that Comerica Park can be a solid defensive field as only four runs were scored (granted I think Verlander had something to do with that).
The Tigers managed a .278 average and were in the top 10 in home runs in the league.
Is it a tough stadium to play in during the playoffs? I wouldn't say it is easy, but I also wouldn't grade it near the top of the most difficult (MLB Player Poll didn't even have it in the top 10).
As a result, I would say that Comerica Park is a middl- tier venue in terms of toughness, and that is mainly due to the their fans and not the schematics of the ballpark itself.
Great American Ballpark
A stadium that always has a great atmosphere, the GAB is a tough venue to play in, no question.
The stadium is all red, and you can assume that there are some intense loud fans in the stadium.
The small dimensions of the field coupled with the fact that the winds blow most balls over the fence make it a wicked venue to watch offense.
That is one of the scary things about the Reds: They have the offense to score a ton of runs but also were among the league leaders in run against.
I'd place the GAB in the top tier of tough venues to play this playoffs.
A.T & T Park
Even though Barry Bonds blasted a million home runs into McCovey Cove, it is a tough venue to consistently hit home runs (SF was last in the league in home runs at home with 31).
With the great playoff tested pitching staff that they have, this makes playing in San Francisco a tough venue for any opposing team.
With a solid, yet unspectacular lineup, the Giants finished 11th in average and can usually scrape out some close wins.
For a team that scored over a quarter of their runs via the home run, perhaps the Reds could have some difficulty at AT & T Park.
They did only win 48 games at home (less than a team like the Athletics), but playoff baseball is a whole different animal.
I would place AT&T Park in the top tier of tough stadiums to play in amongst those in the playoffs.
The new Nationals Park is a beautiful venue that has continually attracted many from the D.C area.
The stadium holds just over 40,000, and they really do their best to make it seem like 10,000.
Granted, when you have arguably the best young pitcher in the game (Strasburg) and one of the buzziest young players (Harper) coupled with a solid overall team that has hovered at the top of the standings all season, you have a great young fanbase.
The Nationals were in the top 10 in most offensive categories and definitely play with a real zest at home. The dimensions aren't overly daunting, but home runs can still be hit in this average sized stadium.
I think Nationals Park, for a city craving baseball success, will really tear the proverbial roof off of the park.
Simply put, a MLB player's poll ranked Yankee Stadium as the toughest place to play as an astounding 83 percent voted it No. 1.
I don't really know what else to say: Their team is perfectly suited for their stadium, and they ranked among the league leaders in all offensive categories.
Toughest stadium coupled with the history of the Yankees will make it difficult for the young Oriole squad.
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