MLB Thursday Weather: Exceptional Hitting Conditions in the Midwest

MLB Thursday Weather: Exceptional Hitting Conditions in the Midwest article feature image
Credit:

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trevor Bauer.

  • Using the Action Network's betting tools, we've analyzed how weather is impacting tonight's Tigers-Indians (7:10 p.m. ET) and Athletics-Twins (8:10) games.

Tonight, two Midwestern ballparks are going to see the best hitting conditions they’ve had all season. And yes, I had to look up whether or not Cleveland was in the Midwest, but to my relief, when I started typing “is Cleveland …” the third suggestion was “in the Midwest.”

I guess there are a lot of people like me out there.

Tigers (M. Boyd) at Indians (T. Bauer)

  • 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Weather Rating: 80

Two stud arms will be taking the hill at Progressive Field tonight, but they’ll be dealing with essentially the worst weather that Cleveland ever gets. Worst weather for pitchers, that is.

At 80 out of 100, this Weather Rating is the highest in Cleveland this year and could potentially top the record of 81 from a few years ago. It would mark just the third time since 2014 that there’s been a Weather Rating this high at Progressive Field.

  • 8/20/16: Weather Rating 81, O/U 9, 11 runs scored
  • 9/1/14: Weather Rating 80, O/U 7, 13 runs scored

What’s behind this lofty rating? Well, temperatures will range from 90 degrees at first pitch to 85 degrees by the end of the game, while a 5-7 mph wind will be blowing out to right-center.

Excluding Coors Field and Globe Life Park (where these conditions are most commonly found), pitchers have averaged a Plus/Minus of -2.57 on DraftKings with Weather Ratings of 80+, while hitters are up +1.05 per FantasyLabs’ Trends Tool.

This game has remained at it’s opening over/under of 8.5 (I took the over).

Athletics (M. Fiers) at Twins (K. Gibson)

  • 8:10 p.m. ET
  • Weather Rating: 80

Well, what do you know? Another Weather Rating of 80, which is once again the highest that Target Field has seen this season. Though this game doesn’t really have a chance of breaking the Weather Rating record for Minnesota (86), it’s the highest since 2017 and the fourth occurrence of an 80+:

  • 6/13/17: Weather Rating 85, O/U 11, 27 runs scored
  • 7/12/15: Weather Rating 80, O/U 8.5, 8 runs scored
  • 7/6/14: Weather Rating 86, O/U 8.5, 16 runs scored

Given the lesser caliber of pitchers in this game, we have an over/under in the double digits. After opening at 10, a steam move on the over has helped cause this total to rise to 10.5 and even 11 at some books.

Both offenses rank toward the top of the league in fly ball rate, but given Kyle Gibson’s propensity for grounders, I would say these conditions favor Minnesota, as Mike Fiers has a history of allowing more fly balls than grounders.

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