Heavy rain and strong winds could play a critical role in the outcome of this series.

WeatherMap: ALCS Report

Weathermodels.com

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.

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Correa knows it's time for his payday. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Rangers made a big splash over the weekend when they agreed to terms on a 7-year $175 million contract with infielder Marcus Semien. Apparently, that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to multiple reports, the Rangers have also added arguably the most coveted player in free agency, Corey Seager. Seager and the Rangers have agreed to a massive 10-year $325 million contract.

Before the Seager news broke, many were starting to wonder if teams would be willing to hand out 10-year deals for over 300 million dollars with the lockout just around the corner. Now we have our answer, and Carlos Correa has to be a very happy man to see how the market is shifting. The Rangers not only added two incredible players, but they also made it pretty much a certainty that Correa will either leave Houston, or the Astros will have to sign him to a long-term $300 million deal, which is not likely based on their stance on multi-year big money contracts.

The Rangers aren't the only team in the AL West making blockbuster moves. The Mariners agreed to terms with 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on Monday. Ray and Seattle agreed to a 5-year, $115 million contract.

The Angels joined in on the action a couple of weeks ago when they signed Noah Syndergard to a 1-year 21 million dollar deal.

Clearly, the AL West is on notice that they're going to have to make big changes if they want to compete with the Houston Astros who have dominated the AL recently with 5 straight ALCS appearances and 3 trips to the World Series. With Correa likely out the door in Houston, these teams might believe this is a perfect time to make a run at the division and finally knock off the Astros. Only time will tell if these deals will work, and the Astros look to have a terrific team this season whether Correa returns or not.

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