An open air stadium in Texas is usually more beneficial to hitters than pitchers because of the heat, humidity, and wind, said Matt Lanza, executive editor and meteorologist at Spacecityweather.com.
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At playtime, Houston temperatures are around 73 degrees with a humidity of around 65 percent and winds moving southeast at 15 miles per hour, according to Weather.com. Wind and moisture, while not uncomfortable for most Houstonians tonight, could give a little boost to a ball that would otherwise die on the edge of the warning trail.
“A lot of people have this logic like, ‘Oh, if the air is really humid I go outside, it just feels like it’s weighing down and the air must be really heavy,” Lanza said. “And the reality is exactly the opposite. Moist air is lighter and drier. For this reason, the ball – with higher humidity – can actually carry a little further than on a dry day.”
However, the effects could be somewhat muted at the moment due to the fall weather in Houston, he said.
Temperatures would be 68-72 with dew points around 62-63. Not super humid, but probably enough to give the ball more pop than it did in Game 2 and about what is typical indoors. Wind shouldn’t be a significant factor and blows easily on LF at around 5-7 mph. #ForTheH https://t.co/6Zbcy4cjzB
– Matt Lanza (@mattlanza) November 2, 2021
“If the roof is open and the temperatures and humidity are like that right now, it won’t be that different, just because of the time of year … You know, sometimes you can say you go outside, it’s like, ‘ Oh, it doesn’t feel much different outside than inside … ‘But with the only exception that the ball has some tailwind, that might have helped push it into the left field. “
An open roof could make a bigger difference if the Astros had to open the roof of Minute Maid Park in the summer, Lanza said.
While Minute Maid Park was ranked 11th most hit-friendly stadium in the league according to baseballsavant.com’s three-year moving average, the stadium with the open roof ranks 8th, one place behind the Truist Park Braves Stadium.
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The Astros wouldn’t have to look any further than their Arlington rivals, the Rangers, who played at Globe Life Park open-air stadium until 2020. Globe Life Park was consistently rated as a park more beneficial to bats, according to the Baseball Reference. The Rangers now play at Globe Life Field, which has a retractable roof and is much more pitcher-friendly than its predecessor, according to the Baseball Reference.
Lanza says the ball continues to travel in warmer climates like the south and southwest.
“During the summertime, I mean, you would probably have more home runs in Houston than in any other ballpark … And the same goes for places like Arizona or Miami, you know desert air in Arizona, in Miami there is a similar atmosphere to here in Houston” said Lanza.