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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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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