I was researching the AL Cy Young race and looking for reasons to argue against Felix Hernandez because I don't think it's fair that he's still good and Tim Lincecum isn't, and I started thinking about park effects. Stat-minded folks like to adjust statistics based on how easy or hard it its to hit and pitch in the various ballparks. If you're looking for more, there's a solid explanation here.
If you're looking for less, you and I would probably get along. The math hurts my delicate little brain. The brief version: take all the runs a team scores at home and compare how many they score on the road, then do the same for their opponents. This eliminates the argument that poor-hitting teams skew the numbers, a common misconception.
With that out of way, I wanted to get a comment starter going because I realized something counterintuitive: Based on park effects, the Giants have been one of the best offensive teams in the league for each of the last three years.
The team you watch every night. That team. The one that makes you complain loudly about their inability to hit.
Here are the last three years of wRC+ by team. If you want a definition of the park-adjusted wRC+, go here.
|Rank by wRC+|
The Giants have been one of the top three teams in each of the last three years. If OPS+ is your thing, here's the same table with OPS+:
|Rank by OPS+|
According to adjusted OPS, the Giants have been the most consistent offensive team of the last three years. This hurts my delicate little brain even more than the math up there.
The comment starter is simple: How comfortable are you describing the Giants as one of the best offensive teams in the National League, three years running?
My comment stopper is also simple: Not very.
Still, you intuitively know that the Giants should get extra credit for playing in a gigantic, pitcher-friendly ballpark. The only question is a matter of scale. How much credit should they get? The nerds have an answer. They've worked really, really hard on it over the years, and they've refined it. This answer suggests the Giants have been one of the best hitting teams in the National League since the misery of 2011.
Well, I'll be.
The next thing you'll tell me is that Hello Kitty isn't a cat.