Heavy rain and strong winds could play a critical role in the outcome of this series.
WeatherMap: ALCS Report
The Astros came into this post season with the slogan "October Reign," and October Rain is what they are going to get in New York today. If you have followed the ALCS at all you have likely heard by now that the status of Game 4 is in question given the prospect for rain. Beyond the rain today the weather will remain a factor into Thursday and possibly Friday in New York so lets break down what we are looking at.
Wednesday (Game 4) - Scheduled start time 7:08 PM Central
Rain is all but guaranteed this afternoon and this evening. Rain, which will be heavy at times, will be moving in during the mid to late afternoon and will likely continue through at least midnight. This would preclude the game from being simply delayed. A postponement seems most likely. I would be surprised if the game isn't called by mid day. The postponement of the game could have significant implications on the pitching matchups for the rest of the series by allowing starters to get an additional day of rest.
Model simulated radar for 8 PM - Midnight tonightWeathermodels.com
Thursday (Game 4 or Game 5) - Scheduled start time 7:08 PM Central
Rain moves out of the area Thursday but it is replaced by strong winds and temperatures in the mid 50s on the back side of the storm system. On Thursday the wind could gust up to 40 MPH at times, however by game time that should hopefully die down a bit. By early evening winds should be coming out of the west at about 20 MPH with occasional gusts up to 30 MPH. Winds like this would be impactful no matter what, but what makes this situation particularly interesting is the orientation of Yankee Stadium. The field is in a west to east orientation, meaning that the wind will be blowing straight out to center field. Obviously this favors home run potential which can cut both ways with both teams being more than capable of bashing the long ball. All those balls that died on the warning track yesterday would be several rows deep on Thursday. Pitching will be critically important on this day.
Friday (Potentially Game 5) Scheduled start time TBD
Friday does not look like weather will be a major factor. Winds will only be about 10-12 miles per hour blowing across the field from the third base line. However this will be the coolest of the games with temperatures starting in the mid 50s and falling into the low 50s during the game.
A note on temperatures: On both Thursday and Friday game time temperatures look to be in the mid 50s. Not freezing by any means, but certainly colder than the teams are used to playing in. Both teams have been playing all summer so it is not like the Yankees are significantly more acclimated to the cooler temperatures than the Astros are. The main impact from the cooler temperatures may be on pitching. Cooler air is more dense which imparts additional friction on the ball leading to more movement on pitches. I suspect we saw a little of this effect yesterday when Gerrit Cole gave up an abnormal amount of walks and said he lacked some command on his fastball. The effect may be small, but when it comes to the strike zone every millimeter makes a difference.