Saturday MLB Weather Forecast: March Baseball In Minnesota Means…
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marvin Hudson..
- Saturday's MLB slate features a very wide range of weather conditions, including near-80 degree temps in the mid-Atlantic and near-freezing temperatures in the midwest.
- Nice conditions for Braves-Phillies and Mets-Nationals along with winds blowing out should bode well for bats.
- Meanwhile, cold temperatures for Indians-Twins and White Sox-Royals along with unfavorable winds have over/unders falling.
When you play baseball in March, you’re going to get some cold baseball games. Some could be really cold, especially since Minnesota is playing at home in an outdoor stadium the first week of the season…bring back the baggie!
It’s not all bad, though, as there is some surprisingly nice weather, too. We have everything from temps in the low 30s to the mid/upper 70s, winds north of 15 mph and one game with a very good chance of rain. Let’s dive in.
A Trip to the Lab
Since it’s going to be chilly up north today, I figured we should take a peek at how games have fared in cold weather historically.
The Indians-Twins game is expected to be between 33 and 36 degrees, which is pretty darn cold. The coldest game we’ve tracked was 25 degrees, and we have 160 games on file since 2005 with an average temperature below 40. The over/under record in those games? Exactly .500. Shucks.
Well, what about moneylines?
What do we have here? It appears as if the cold weather levels the playing field to a degree, as underdogs are just a couple of games below .500 in the 160-game sample. Visiting teams have had a similar track record.
Highest Weather Ratings (Excluding Closed Roofs)
- Pirates at Reds: 59
- Braves at Phillies: 50
- Mets at Nationals: 44
Weather Ratings are a proprietary number created by FantasyLabs which are on a 0-100 scale, with 100 being the best hitting atmosphere and 0 being the best pitching atmosphere. It takes into account temperature, wind speed, wind direction, stadium elevation, humidity and atmospheric pressure.
With a fairly lofty Weather Rating of 59, the Pirates-Reds game takes the cake for best hitting weather of the young season…if they play, that is. More on that later.
The Braves-Phillies and Mets-Nationals games sport similar conditions. One would sort of expect that given their proximity.
The Philly game does start a bit later (4:05 p.m. ET), but will still feature unseasonably warm temps in the mid-70s. As was the case on opening day, this game will also have a stiff breeze blowing straight out to center. The total has risen from 8.5 to 9 since opening.
Historically, Citizens Bank Park has been the most profitable ballpark to take the over when the wind is blowing out, and Thursday was no exception.
The Mets-Nats game will similarly have temps in the mid-70s with a wind blowing out, though a few mph slower. Unlike in Philadelphia, these two teams will have some top-notch starters on the bump with Noah Syndergaard taking on Stephen Strasburg. The total remains at its opener of 7, though the juice on the over has risen.
Lowest Weather Ratings
- White Sox at Royals: 7
- Indians at Twins: 8
Honestly, I’m surprised the Twins game isn’t closer to a Weather Rating of 0. Sure 8 is pretty darn low, but temps in the low-mid 30s and a hard breeze blowing from left to right? It’s going to be incredibly hard to drive the ball in Minnesota today. The betting market has taken note of that, as heavy under action has caused the total to drop from 8 to 7.5.
It will be approximately 10 degrees warmer in K.C., but the Weather Rating is a tad bit worse! A 17-mph wind will be blowing in from left field, really knocking down any fly balls hit in that direction. As is the case in Minnesota, this over/under has dropped a half run, from 8.5. to 8, since opening.
- Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Today’s forecast: Cloudy with a chance of Skyline Chili. No, just kidding. Cloudy with a very good chance of rain… maybe even some thunderstorms.
It looks like a real wet one in Cincy, as it will be raining off and (mostly) on from sunup ’til sundown. There’s between a 90% and 100% chance of rain in the 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET range, which is when the game would normally take place. It will stay that way until late in the evening, too.
As I mentioned before, the atmospheric conditions are actually good for offense, but this is a really risky one for you DFS players out there looking to roster an Pirates or Reds.