Which teams get hurt the most, lose their home-field advantage most dramatically, by fanless ballparks? Our subjective rankings incorporate these factors: Recent and historical attendance, stadium acoustics, fan-base reputation/tradition, recent team performance and expected team success for 2020. Plus perhaps just a pinch of New York bias.
1. Washington Nationals
Man, these folks, so electric at Nationals Park during last year’s postseason, would’ve been fired up to cheer on their defending champions, even with Gerardo “Baby Shark” Parra gone.
2. St. Louis Cardinals
The most consistently supportive fan base in the game.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
With Mookie Betts aboard, they surely would’ve led the industry in attendance for an eighth straight year.
4. New York Mets
A filled, engaged Citi Field is about as good as it gets; with that in mind, they should drop to 24th if Jacob deGrom’s back problems persist.
5. New York Yankees
No, it’ll never match the old Yankee Stadium, but Gerrit Cole’s maiden pinstriped voyage would’ve fired up the place pretty good.
6. Philadelphia Phillies
They posted the largest attendance increase last year after signing Bryce Harper, and how much would their Santa-Claus-booing loyalists have enjoyed a vintage Joe Girardi meltdown with an umpire?
7. Milwaukee Brewers
When the roof is closed and the team is rocking, you don’t want to take on Bernie Brewer and company.
8. Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani back on the mound and Anthony Rendon teaming with Mike Trout means the Rally Monkey would’ve received quite the workout this year.
9. Oakland Athletics
The worst ballpark aesthetically by far, which makes it all the more intimidating when the team is strong (as it should be this year) and the East Bay rowdies fill it up.
10. Houston Astros
The many diehards could’ve derived the sign-stealing earthquake as fake news and backed their beleaguered guys.
11. Minnesota Twins
A fun and powerful team in a region that loves its baseball.
12. Texas Rangers
They have really good starting pitching and a brand new home in Globe Life Field.
13. Atlanta Braves
They would’ve finally banned the tomahawk chop, right? Something else would’ve had to fill the void.
14. Cincinnati Reds
They should contend, and attendance increased last year when the team added talent, which it did again this past winter.
15. Chicago Cubs
Nothing beats Wrigley Field for atmosphere, but this club feels like a falling stock.
16. Chicago White Sox
Nearly everywhere else beats Guaranteed Rate Field (worst ballpark name ever) for atmosphere, but this club feels like a rising stock.
17. Toronto Blue Jays
An exciting young core and Hyun-Jin Ryu could’ve brought Rogers Centre back to life.
18. Arizona Diamondbacks
Madison Bumgarner should add some spark to blah Chase Field if and when people fill the stands again.
19. San Diego Padres
Petco Park ordinarily carries the intensity of Owen Wilson. Except the Padres might actually be in the mix this season.
20. Colorado Rockies
People come to Coors Field. Even Nolan Arenado doesn’t think this team has a chance, though.
21. Boston Red Sox
While Fenway Park excels in good times, these are not good times for Red Sox Nation.
22. San Francisco Giants
Tremendous home, great fans, lousy 2020 team.
23. Cleveland Indians
Sadly, Francisco Lindor and great pitching don’t seem to entice many occupants of this city that has fallen on hard times.
24. Seattle Mariners
Until Jarred Kelenic arrives, T-Mobile Park will be quiet whether paying customers are allowed or not.
25. (tie) Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals
Four tremendous baseball towns, four currently noncompetitive baseball entities.
29. (tie) Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays
Bud Selig never should’ve brought regular-season baseball to Florida.