Weathering the Impact on Your Fantasy Players

  • Weather Forecasts for MLB’s First Full Week (April 3-9)


    Are you looking for an advantage in your fantasy baseball league? Of course you are! Maybe you’re in a high-stakes league and need every single counting stat that you can get. Or, maybe you play some H2H leagues and need stats THIS week. Well, savvy fantasy managers know that staying informed about the weather can help them squeeze out the most category juice for their team’s hitting and pitching by targeting or avoiding certain hitting environments. This series of articles will give you the weather info that you need to gain an upper hand.

    The definitive article on how weather impacts baseball was written by Derek Carty (yes, THAT Derek Carty – he knows weather, too!). Here’s my summary of things to consider:

    • Warm weather is a much better hitting environment than colder weather
    • The best hitting weather occurs when the weather is hot AND humid
    • Know whether the wind is blowing in or out of the stadium
    • Be alert to possible rainouts.

    We will typically have two articles each week. Sunday articles will look at the upcoming week’s weather and highlight games in which you can use weather to your advantage. On Thursdays, look for an article that updates the weekend weather forecast and takes an early glance at next week’s weather.

    NOTE: I’m not suggesting that a slightly better hitting environment is enough reason to bench your superstars (rainouts, however, are a different story). Instead, use weather information as one of the pieces to help you decide when you’re weighing start/sit decisions on non-superstars, when you’re trying to maximize ABs or when you really need to avoid a hit on your ratios.


    General Forecast for April 3-9

    April is the heart of spring in many areas and weather watchers know that spring brings the most volatile weather. Although this week doesn’t appear to feature any widespread intense storms, a weak storm will move from the Southwest U.S. across the Great Lakes and Northeast by Wednesday. This will cause a couple windy and warm days that could significantly aid hitters – but also force us to sweat out a few possible rainouts. The storm system will move out to the Atlantic by Thursday and leave behind fairly tranquil weather for most of the weekend.


     Setups to Target

    After looking at this week’s weather patterns and MLB schedule, I am particularly excited about two setups:

    • Toronto at Kansas City (Tuesday). This one could be fun. After reaching the 80s earlier in the day, game time temps will be quite warm (70s) but the best part is the wind. Expect gusts up to 40 mph (!!) blowing OUT to left-center field. Be sure to roll out your Blue Jay and Royal mashers. On the flip side, this game’s tentative SPs (Kikuchi and Bubic) are even riskier than normal given this setup. Beware!
    • Tampa at Washington (Wednesday). This daytime game will be one of the warmest of the whole week (near 82 degrees). We’ll also see 20 mph OUTBOUND winds at Nationals Park that day so make sure you have your Rays and Nats hitters in your starting lineups. Just cross your fingers if you have the SP. If you start SP Corbin… well, your ratios deserve whatever damage he inflicts upon them!
    • BONUS: Tuesday’s Atlanta/St. Louis and Chicago Cubs/Cincinnati games will be among the warmer games of the week. However, there’s a chance of rain in St. Louis and winds will be blowing INBOUND in Cincy, so these setups are good – but not perfect.


    Greatest Rainout Risks

    • San Francisco at Chicago White Sox (Monday and Tuesday’s games)
    • Pittsburgh at Boston (Wednesday)
    • Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati (Wednesday)


    Late Week Outlook

    Many MLB ballparks will have several tranquil but cool days once that storm system heads out to the ocean on Thursday. There will be a few warm weather games (ie, favorable hitting environments) on Thursday including San Diego at Atlanta, Cincinnati at Philadelphia and the NY Yankees at Baltimore. Otherwise, a lot of games will be played with temps in the 50s and 60s Friday through Sunday. Enclosed climate-controlled stadiums provide better hitting environments than the cool weather that will be common late in the week, so you might look toward hitters in the St. Louis/Milwaukee and Oakland/Tampa games.


    A couple poor hitting environments appear to be the Houston/Minnesota game on Thursday (temps only in the 30s) and maybe the Texas/Chicago Cubs game on Friday (temps only in the 40s). See if you have any pitchers in these games as they should have the upper hand, especially IF the winds are blowing in at Wrigley Field.


    One more late week note: There will be much anticipation of the Colorado Rockies first homestand which occurs Thursday through the weekend. Manage your expectations for the first part of that series because the temps may only be in the 40s during Thursday’s game. Let’s hope that the forecast of a warming trend in Denver this weekend turns out to be accurate.


    If you have a specific question, you can hit me up on Twitter (@LarryV86). Also, check back here on SportsEthos on Thursday for the mid-week update.



    Larry is a meteorologist who was fortunate to have a 36-year career “doing his hobby” with the National Weather Service. He’s a weather weenie who was fascinated by weather in elementary school and graduated with a degree in meteorology from Penn State. He obsesses about fantasy baseball, weather and the Phillies.

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