Will Sahlen Field Return Hurt Blue Jays Offense & Fantasy Baseball Future?
The Toronto Blue Jays continue to play home games at a temporary home ballpark while the world’s still in the midst of a pandemic. Their temporary home is changing soon, and that will have a seismic impact on the park factors. Thus far this year, they’ve played “home” games at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida. It’s played as one of the most hitter-friendly parks. Starting June 1, they’ll return to last year’s temporary home: Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York.
Will Sahlen Field Return Hurt Blue Jays Offense?
Sahlen Field has been undergoing ballpark renovations, so the park factors may play slightly differently than they did last year. However, the only notable difference I’ve seen is moving the bullpen from on the field to beyond the outfield walls. Perhaps the change will lead to more outs made in foul territory. Still, it’s prudent to use last year’s park factors for the time being.
Sahlen Field hasn’t been nearly the offensive-amplifying ballpark as TD Ballpark. Additionally, while TD Ballpark enhances homers by 46.2%, Sahlen Field suppresses them by 24%. Fantasy baseball gamers and sports bettors need to account for the park factors shift.
Below, you’ll see a table featuring the park factors for both ballparks via ESPN’s MLB Park Factors.
Sahlen Field: Fantasy Baseball Tip
As you can see in the table above, the park factors drop dramatically for run-scoring, homers, hits, and doubles. A return to Sahlen Field, to some degree, could hurt the Blue Jays offense.
I won’t go as far as suggesting frantically looking to offload hitters from the Blue Jays. Still, if someone’s willing to pay a king’s ransom for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Bo Bichette, or if they’re interested in acquiring Marcus Semien, you should listen.
Additionally, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Robbie Ray are already pitching well, and they should see a value boost with the park factor change. Further, I advise kicking the tires on Steven Matz, as his underlying stats are better than his 4.86 ERA, and the new park factors should help regression toward his 3.81 SIERA.