Philadelphia Phillies: Is Citizens Bank Park Really a Hitter's Park?

C KSenior Analyst INovember 26, 2008

The baseball world is in a little bit of a lull right now, but fear no more! Christian is here to save the day.

Today on the MLB rumor mill, some tiny rumors came out that the World Series champion Phillies are "talking" with pitchers Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett.

The Phillies also reportedly talked to the White Sox about Jermaine Dye, but the price is very high. I'd be surprised to see something happen there.

Are any of these deals all that likely to happen? Who knows? Only time will tell.

But that's not the main point of this article.

When I heard this news, I had a conversation with someone about why a pitcher would want to come to Philadelphia.

As we all know, many people see Philadelphia as a bad pitcher's destination, but we found that not true.

The person I had this conversation with agreed with me that Philadelphia is an overrated hitter's park. By that, I mean it really doesn't favor towards hitters as much as people think.

To prove this, I looked at a few things.

First, I looked at the amount of home runs that teams hit at home and the amount of home runs team hit on the road. I then took the home number, and subtracted the road number from it. This shows how many more home runs a team hit at home than on the road.

I'm going to show you my results, and you may be surprised here.

But first, let me tell you why I did it this way and didn't just look at home runs at certain parks.

My reason is some teams are power hitting teams, so they hit a lot of home runs. So in the stats, their park comes up with a lot of home runs, but in actuality, it's just the team hitting them not the park.

Also, this works the opposite way. Some teams may appear to be power hitting teams, but when they are away from home, their homers go way down.

What I did basically evens the playing field out.

So when you look at the stats, focus on the differentials more than anything else.

Here's the results:

Team/HR at Home/HR on Road/Differential from Home to Road

  1. Chicago White Sox/143/92/+51
  2. Chicago Cubs/106/78/+28
  3. Detroit Tigers/112/88/+24
  4. Colorado Rockies/92/68/+24
  5. Texas Rangers/107/87/+20
  6. Baltimore Orioles/96/76/+20
  7. Cincinnati Reds/103/84/+19
  8. New York Mets/95/77/+18
  9. Houston Astros/92/75/+17
  10. Toronto Blue Jays/69/57/+12
  11. Cleveland Indians/89/82/+7
  12. Los Angeles Dodgers/71/66/+5
  13. New York Yankees/92/88/+4
  14. Philadelphia Phillies/109/105/+4
  15. Milwaukee Brewers/100/98/+2
  16. Minnesota Twins/56/55/+1
  17. Oakland Athletics/62/63/-1
  18. Tampa Bay Rays/89/91/-2
  19. San Francisco Giants/45/49/-4
  20. Arizona Diamondbacks/77/82/-5
  21. Pittsburgh Pirates/74/79/-5
  22. Atlanta Braves/62/68/-6
  23. Seattle Mariners/59/65/-6
  24. Washington Nationals/51/66/-15
  25. Boston Red Sox/79/94/-15
  26. Los Angeles Angels/72/87/-15
  27. St. Louis Cardinals/79/95/-16
  28. Kansas City Royals/50/70/-20
  29. Florida Marlins/94/114/-20
  30. San Diego Padres/66/88/-22

So what did you take from this?

I saw that the high home run numbers at Citizens Bank Park is just a product of the Phillies' home run ability.

I also saw that the White Sox really aren't a big power hitting team. They just benefit from their ballpark.

The final thing I noticed was that the two Chicago teams occupied the top two spots...could this possibly mean the ball carries farther in Chicago?

After that, I then moved on to a smaller stat.

While looking at ESPN's Park Factors, I once again saw evidence pointing out that Philadelphia is an overrated hitter's park.

In their statistics, Citizens Bank Park ranked 11th in how much a park favors towards hitters in the home run statistic.

Final results: 14th in the differential, 11th in home run rating.

So I'm pretty convinced that Philadelphia is not a huge hitter's park. It definitely is a hitter's park, but it's not as bad as some say.

The next time you are talking with some friends about where some pitchers could land in free agency, and somebody brings up Philadelphia's "tiny" park as a negative, bring this up. It will shut them up quickly.

I guarantee it.


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