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MLB Handicapping: Totals at Arizona’s Chase Field are on the Rise

MLB

With over a season’s worth of data (93 games to be exact) let’s take a quick look at how the humidor has impacted Chase Field. From a raw statistical standpoint, home runs were noticeably down in 2018 compared to 2017.

Year: Home Runs Per Game
2019: 2.83
2018: 2.09
2017: 2.68
2016: 2.73
2015: 1.91

According to The Hardball Times, not only were home runs down but so too was exit velocity which are obviously correlated.

This brings us to how the humidor has impacted Arizona’s home games from a betting perspective. Over the first 22 games of the 2018 season, totals at Chase Field went 4-16-2 over/under. But it looks as if those results weren’t because oddsmakers were slow to react to the change. Of those 22 games, only one was lined at 9 runs. The rest were 7.5 to 8.5. To compare, 71 of Arizona’s 81 home games in 2017 were lined 9 or higher. So again, oddmakers and/or the market clearly made the proper adjustment. In fact, since the humidor was installed, totals at Chase Field are a nearly dead even 43-45-5 O/U.

Year: Over/Under
2019: 6-4-2
2018: 37-41-3
2017: 42-34-7
2016: 50-28-3
2015: 39-35-5

But what interesting is that this year, we’re starting to see the totals at Chase Field climb.

2018 Total: Number of Games (Results)
7: 2 (0-1-1)
7.5: 21 (6-15)
8: 25 (13-11-1)
8.5: 26 (14-12)
9: 7 (4-2-1)

2019 Total: Number of Games (Results)
7: 0
7.5: 0
8: 1 (0-1)
8.5: 4 (3-1)
9: 4 (3-0-1)
9.5: 1 (0-1)
10: 2 (0-1-1)

In 2018, not one game at Chase Field was lined higher than 9. This year, we’ve already seen seven games lined 9 or higher. Note that some of the higher totals weren’t based on the roof being open either. An open roof at Chase Field historically yields more offense and home runs. But on Saturday, the roof was in fact shut and the total for the game still closed 10/10.5. The spike in totals is even more interesting when you consider the offseason trades of Paul Goldschmidt and AJ Pollack who accounted for a combined 23 home runs at Chase Field in 2018.

The uptick in how oddsmakers are pricing Chase Field totals is worth keeping an eye on moving forward. Arizona’s offense projects to once again rank in the bottom half of the National League when it comes to home offense. And while the starting staff lost Patrick Corbin, newly acquired Luke Weaver and the rest look competitive assuming they find a replacement for Zack Godley (7.58 ERA) whose home starts have been lined 9 (over), 9 (over), and 10 (push).