COLORADO SPRINGS — Weather during Major League Baseball (MLB) can impact that homerun hit or pitching throw more than you think. In sports betting, understanding how various weather conditions impact a game could also increase your chances of placing a winning wager.
FOX21’s Chief Meteorologist Matt Meister spoke with Meteorologist Kevin Roth, with the Action Network, which analyzed top stadiums where conditions were most prevalent over the regular season (stadiums with fixed or retractable roofs were not included in the data).
How are MLB teams affected by different conditions?
According to Roth, “…Wind over the stadium can either help carry a ball over the fences, or knock a would-be homerun ball down. Winds blowing out from home to center, especially 15mph or stronger, are beneficial to hitters, while winds blowing from center to home are detrimental to hitters.”
Roth says that each ballpark reacts to wind differently.
“A 15mph wind blowing out in a wind-sensitive park like Wrigley, increases HR’s by over 50%, but the same 15mph wind blowing out in San Francisco (where the park was designed to minimize wind), only increases HR’s by less than ten percent,” says Roth.
In addition to wind, heavy rains and lightning also impact game day.
“This can lead to postponed games, as well as scenarios where an early delay can knock out a starting pitcher,” Roth states.
Below is a list showing the top five rainiest MLB locations based on monthly averages during the 2021 regular season:
- Kansas City, MO – Kauffman Stadium (3.9 inches of average rainfall)
- Bronx, NY – Yankee Stadium (3.59 inches of average rainfall)
- Queens, NY – Citi Field (3.54 inches of average rainfall)
- Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park (3.51 inches of average rainfall)
- Baltimore, MD – Oriole Park at Camden Yards (3.36 inches of average rainfall)
Heat can have massive impacts on players and teams, especially in California where teams have to contend with soaring temperatures. Hot, thin air means less break on off-speed pitches, according to The Action Network. However, for a batter, the hot air is better because a pitch is easier to hit and carries farther.
Below is a list showing the top five hottest MLB locations based on monthly averages during the 2021 regular season:
- Anaheim, CA – Angel Stadium (79.3 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- St. Louis, MO – Busch Stadium (79.3 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- Kansas City, MO – Kauffman Stadium (79.1 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature))
- Los Angeles, CA – Dodger Stadium (78.9 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- Washington, D.C. – Nationals Park (78.1 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
The difference between a 90-degree day and a 60-degree day can be the difference between a homerun and warning track power. Roth found that the colder it is outside, the denser the air is. Dense air in cold temperatures adds more air resistance to a ball as it flies. While hot air is better for the batter, cold weather is better for pitchers because the ball is both harder to hit and won’t carry as far when a player hits that perfect swing.
Below is a list showing the top five coldest MLB locations based on monthly averages during the 2021 regular season:
- Denver, CO – Coors Field (51.1 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- Cumberland, GA – Truist Park (52.3 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- Minneapolis, MN – Target Field (52.9 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- Detroit, MI – Comerica Park (55.6 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
- San Francisco, CA – Oracle Park (55.6 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature)
“… Elevation is important to consider for how well a ball carries. Games played at high elevation have thinner air and less air resistance on a ball, allowing a well-hit ball to carry farther than it would at sea level,” says Roth. “This is why Coors Park is consistently one of the better home run parks in baseball every year.”
To determine which MLB franchises are most affected by the weather, The Action Network recorded temperature, snowfall, rainfall and wind speed data for each U.S. location where there’s an MLB stadium.
Data was collected between March 2021 and October 2022 (duration of MLB regular season). The Action Network then ranked the data accordingly, revealing the teams most impacted by the heat, cold, rain and wind.