Studying the Coors Field hangover effect

From SABR member Meredith Wills at The Purple Rox on November 28, 2011:

Coors Field has existed for 17 years. Born in the age of steroids Coors Field has never shaken it’s past, even with the advent of the humidor. According to ESPN’s ball park factors, Coors Field ranked third in runs scored in 2007 with a 1.16 factor or 16% more runs scored then at an average park (behind Fenway and Wrigley); 2008 Coors was third with a 1.126 factor (behind Chase and Ballpark in Arlington); 2009 Coors was first with a 1.247 factor; again in 2010 Coors was first with a 1.364 factor; and in 2011 Coors was second with a 1.347 factor (behind Ballpark in Arlington). Clearly Coors Field is still a place where runs are not a premium!  In the end, humidor or not, you can’t add air and thus batted balls tend to travel 9% farther then at sea level (according to the Rox official website).

In addition to the ball traveling farther, giving the offense a boost, the pitchers have their own trouble because balls tend not to move as much in the thinner air.  So ultimately a perfect storm arrives when the ball and bat meet at home plate.  In the past, the Rox seemed to have the advantage when playing at Coors Field, where they have won more than 57% of their games from 1995 – 2010 versus 40% away.  In 2011 the opposite seemed true as opponents took advantage and Rox only finished 38-43 at home versus 35-46 on the road.  Over the years the effects of Coors Field has been debated especially in regards to a “hangover” effect that might exist when Rox return after a road trip.  My question then — is there such a thing?

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Originally published: November 28, 2011. Last Updated: November 28, 2011.