When it comes to Major League Baseball stadiums that give up a lot of home runs, you might think that Coors Field is the biggest culprit. However, no stadium allows more dingers on a yearly basis than Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. But this year, that could change in a major way.
In the last 5 seasons, there have been 1,14o home runs hit at Camden Yards, more than double of Oracle Park in San Francisco. And while you can chalk a little bit of that up to how bad Baltimore and their pitchers have been, home runs escaped that field at an accelerated rate even when the team was really good prior to that stretch.
Coming for the 2022 season. pic.twitter.com/axNJe1PMvX
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) January 14, 2022
Back in January, the Orioles announced they would push the left-field wall back by 26 and 1/2 feet and make it almost six feet taller. As MLB.com’s Mike Petriello writes, that is likely going to lead to around 50 hits that would have been home runs now staying in the ballpark. And as their statistical analysis notes, a little under 200 home runs hit in Camen Yards over the last five years would have remained in the field of play under these new dimensions, so that makes a major difference.
As you might imagine, the Orioles are going to be on the short end of this change a decent amount considering they play half their games in the stadium. Interestingly enough, you could make the case that a big part of the reason Baltimore is making the change is not to help the Orioles but to hurt their most common opponents. And no opponent will seemingly be as affected by the change as the New York Yankees.
Orioles have made OPACY… different. pic.twitter.com/JSKv2GQfu2
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) March 22, 2022
According to their analysis, the new ballpark dimensions would have taken 26 Yankees home runs off the board in recent years. Comparatively the Toronto Blue Jays would have missed out on 14, the Tampa Bay Rays would have lost 15, and the Boston Red Sox would have lost out on 11.
Of course, there’s more to it than just left-field home runs and there are still plenty of reasons to assume the Yankees will beat the Orioles more often than not, but it’s not insignificant to wonder how that lost production will impact the many meetings between the two teams in Camden Yards.
In an tight and competitive AL East where they are scarcely a factor, the Orioles’ LF fence may be of interest. https://t.co/fQndTykI0m
— Tao of Stieb (@TaoofStieb) March 28, 2022
We won’t know the true impact of the new dimensions until the 2022 MLB season gets underway, but it’s going to be a fascinating adjustment to watch, especially as we get enough stats to start making comparisons.