Spoiler alert: there are more hitter-friendly ballparks than pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball.
OK, that's not really a spoiler if you checked out our rankings of MLB's most hitter-friendly ballparks last week, but for those who missed it, take my word for it. Or you can click on the link to see for yourself, read through this slideshow...or do both.
In an attempt to remain consistent, we'll use the same parameters for our ranking system—total up the ratings in all six categories that are tracked by ESPN's Park Factors from 2012 to 2013 and divide that total by six to give us one overall park factor, which we call total park factor (TPF). Any ballpark with a TPF of 1.000 or above is classified as hitter-friendly, while any ballpark with a TPF below 1.000 sides with the pitcher.
Why are we only focusing on 2012 and 2013? With Miami moving into new digs in 2012, using data from 2011 and earlier simply wasn't possible. Additionally, using partial-season data in addition to full-season numbers would only skew the results.
That said, we'll still look at the 2014 numbers in order to see how parks are currently playing and also to determine if we should expect more of the same as the season rolls along.
But wait, there's more!
At the very end of this slideshow, you'll find a completely different set of rankings, one that uses a completely different ranking system.
Why, you ask?
Because there's no perfect method of figuring out whether a park is hitter-friendly or pitcher-friendly, and it's interesting to compare the results. Take a look at both and let us know which you think is the more effective ranking system—and why—in the comments below.
Enough talk, though; let's take a look at what the numbers tell us.
*All non-ESPN Park Factor statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.