Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Perils and perks of playing at Coors.

Coors field is maybe the most extreme park in HBD. It requires players with different skills then other parks and even affects the composition of your roster. Without giving away my whole strategy here are some of the best and worst things about having Coors Field as your home.

The Perils

Tires out your pitching staff – Pitchers have to throw quite a few more pitches in Coors to complete a game then you would at a normal ball park. Starters tire out sooner and don’t work as deep into games. Relievers max out at one inning. Coors forces you to carry extra starters in your bullpen to get through the middle innings. This year I’ve thrown about 11% more pitches at home per inning than on the road.

Tires out your positional players – Players with high durability ratings still need to rest because they get so many more plate appearances at Coors then in other spots. Rest early in the season becomes very important. And because you can come back from large deficits at Coors you can’t rest your players as early in the game as you might like to.

Hard to find pitchers who will succeed – Pitchers with average fly ball to ground ball ratios are killers at Coors. Certain pitchers just don’t seem to do well at Coors and the stats are so skewed it can be tough to pick out who is actually pitching well. Any pitcher with an ERA under 5.50 with half his games pitched at Coors is doing pretty well.

The Perks

You can build around sluggers – Always fun and fairly cheap. Guys that would normally be average at sea level become very playable at Coors. Neil Lukasiewicz is a classic example of a Coors player.

Visiting teams without power tend to struggle – A successful lineup that is not built around power will not do as well at Coors.

Domination of All Star lineup – Your positional players will have a pretty good shot at making the All Star team.

Every game is an adventure – It’s such a rollercoaster ride to look at box scores from home games. Seven run comebacks are fairly common and you get a few 20-12 games. Your hitters never slump.

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