2020 MLB Postseason – Stadium Comparisons

This week, MLB and the MLBPA agreed on the 2020 playoff bubble locations: Arlington, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The NBA and NHL playoffs are having success inside their respective bubbles. Then it was a simple decision for MLB to eliminate cross-country flights, multiple transportation companies, and numerous hotel bookings for their postseason. Hosting the Divisional Series, Championship Series, and World Series in neutral ballparks provides each team a level of safety and security that previous playoff formats could not. American League teams will be playing in National League stadiums, and vice versa. Because of this, let’s look at the dimensions and Park Factor statistics specific to each stadium. (Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher.)

Dodger Stadium
• Location – Los Angeles, CA
• Opening Date – April 10, 1962
• Capacity – 56,000
• Dimensions – LF – 330’, LCF – 385’, CF – 395’, RCF – 385’, RF – 330’
• Style – Open, pitching/batting shadows possible
• Surface – Grass

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, photo via: Jake N. (Mrmiscellanious) / CC BY

American League Division Series B, Monday, October 5th – Friday, October 9th

MLB Park Factors
• Runs – 0.978, 18th
• HR – 1.085, 12th
• 2B – 0.897, 22nd

First, hosting an ALDS is Dodger Stadium. Dodger Stadium is the one of five stadiums in MLB that has consistent, symmetrical outfield dimensions. The uniform outfield walls, uninterrupted curve of the fence, and relatively small corners tend to suppress the number of doubles or triples allowed, and American League teams that rely on XBH like the Rays and Astros could find Dodger Stadium difficult to stretch hits into doubles and triples. During the regular season, the Dodger’s team ERA is among the best in the majors. Not taking credit from LA’s All-Star pitchers, but it will interesting to see if rotations from Cleveland and Chicago can also excel in Dodger Stadium.

Minute Maid Park

• Location – Houston, TX
• Opening Date – March 30, 2000
• Capacity – 41,000
• Dimensions – LF – 315’, LCF – 362’, CF – 409’, RCF – 373’, RF – 326’
• Style – Retractable Roof, no pitching/batting shadows with roof closed
• Surface – Grass

Minute Maid Park - Houston, Texas - DSC01317
Minute Maid Park in Houston, photo via: Daderot / CC0

National League Division Series B, Tuesday, October 6th – Saturday, October 10th

MLB Park Factors
• Runs – 0.809, 27th
• HR – 0.742, 27th
• 2B – 0.726, 29th

Also hosting a 2020 Divisional Series, is Minute Maid Park. Minute Maid Park over the last six MLB seasons has been in the bottom third of hitting statistics. While some analysts will point to the high-caliber pitching of its home team, the quantity of data suggest hitters struggle to put up power numbers in Minute Maid. The high wall in left field and the 400’+ center field fence allow for quick relays into the infield and deep fly outs, respectively. Ironically, the Dodgers league-leading team ERA could benefit from being in Houston. Imagine the Dodgers winning here and fans thanking Houston for the help?!? It is unknown which NL team will have access to the video replay room and trashcan services…

Petco Park

• Location – San Diego, CA
• Opening Date – April 8, 2004
• Capacity – 42,445
• Dimensions – LF – 336’, LCF – 386’, CF – 396’, RCF – 391’, RF – 322’
• Style – Open, pitching/batting shadows possible
• Surface – Synthetic Grass

Petco Park (15994877519)
Petco Park in San Diego, photo via: redlegsfan21 / CC BY-SA

American League Division Series A, Monday, October 5th – Friday, October 9th
American League Championship Series, Sunday, October 11th – Saturday, October 17th

MLB Park Factors
• Runs – 0.860, 23rd
• HR – 1.169, 9th
• 2B – 1.062, 9th

Then there is Petco Park, hosting an ALDS and the ALCS. Petco Park has higher rates of home runs and doubles, the overall index shows pitchers perform better than hitters on average. Look for power-hitting AL teams like the White Sox, Yankees, and Twins to take advantage of the HR Park Factor, especially with the short fence in the RF corner. In contrast, American League teams like Houston or Cleveland might find their lack of HR power difficult to score runs inside Petco Park. AL teams with speed will also look to stretch traditional singles down the line or into the gap into doubles, as Petco Park lends itself to two-baggers.

Globe Life Field

• Location – Arlington, TX
• Opening Date – July 24, 2020
• Capacity – 40,300
• Dimensions – LF – 329’, LCF – 372’, CF – 407’, RCF – 374’, RF – 326’
• Style – Retractable Roof, no pitching/batting shadows with roof closed
• Surface – Synthetic Grass

Globelifefield june2020
Globe Life Field in Arlington, photo via: Drone To Fly / CC BY

National League Division Series A, Tuesday, October 6th – Saturday, October 10th
National League Championship Series, Monday, October 12th – Sunday, October 18th
World Series, Tuesday, October 20th – Wednesday, October 28th

MLB Park Factors
• Runs – 0.903, 21st
• HR – 0.717, 28th
• 2B – 0.924, 21st

Finally, Globe Life Field will host an NLDS, NLCS, and the Worlds Series. Globe Life Field, according to the first 20+ games, is a pitcher’s ballpark. However, the numbers deserve an asterisk. The Rangers, one of the league’s worst offenses, play their home games there. It is tough to give any advantage to pitchers or hitters in this brand-new stadium because of its limited sample size. Not only geographically neutral, the choice of having the 2020 World Series in Globe Life Field might be one of the most neutral decisions when it comes to pitcher vs. batter advantages.


With less than two weeks left in the 2020 regular season, playoff teams are becoming more evident each day. The decision to play the last three rounds of the 2020 postseason in “bubble” stadiums directly impacted the traditional home-field advantage. While the players will still have the advantage of batting last when playing as the home team, the familiarity and knowledge of their home stadiums goes out the window. It will be interesting to see how playing in different stadiums impact the strategy planning and execution of those plans during postseason games. The teams that focus batting and fielding practice specifically for the host stadium will have a competitive advantage when the playoffs start. Ultimately, after everything the year 2020 has done to the sports world and its fans, expect the unexpected at least a few times in the 2020 MLB Postseason.

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