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Daily Fantasy Baseball: What You Need To Know About Weather

Baseball is the only sport in daily fantasy where weather is regularly responsible for cancelling or suspending games.  It’s also a sport where weather can drastically influence the potency of any teams offense. There’s a lot you need to understand about weather when playing daily fantasy baseball, and a lot of factors you can use to your advantage.

Thin Air

One thing you must know before making any daily fantasy lineup is that certain parks are more favorable to hitters than other parks. Coors Field, because of the effect Denver’s elevation has on the atmosphere, is by far the most hitter friendly park in baseball. Arizona’s park is arguably 2nd, although a distant one. Most days where there is a Rockies home game, the best lineup will likely include all hitters from that game.

Levels Of Rain Risk

Despite the ability of rain and thunderstorms to cancel a game, it doesn’t actually happen that often. When it does happen, the game is often cancelled well before the game begins. But it’s when it gets cancelled and we don’t see it coming, choosing any players from the cancelled game likely means a losing lineup.

There are two levels of rain risk we care about. One is rain that is likely to cause a long delay but has no chance of cancelling it. This weather prediction is not dangerous for hitters, but can be a bit dangerous for pitchers. This is because pitcher’s are more prone to injuries if they do unusual warm up routines, and teams will often scratch that pitcher to not take the risk of a bad warm up causing an injury. Be careful about choosing pitchers from these games. Small delays are rarely a risk though.

The other level is rain and/or thunderstorms that has a chance of cancelling the games. In these situations, it makes sense to not use any players from these games because the risk of cancellation is not worth the reward of them playing. This is a much harder decision for Rockies home games, where players in that game are often top plays.

Wind

Wrigley Field in Chicago is one of the most interesting fields in baseball because of how wind can have such a significant effect on playing conditions. When the wind is blowing out of the stadium, the over/under lines of the game get up to 10+ runs because of how many HR’s are generated from fly balls.

Wind doesn’t have as big of an effect on other Parks, but it still can create more friendly environments for HR’s as well as handedness advantages. Wind blowing out of the stadium is favorable for HR hitters. Wind blowing towards right field is generally more advantageous to left handers. Wind blowing towards left field is generally better for righties. Handness advantages from wind are because most hitters pull the ball more often than they hit to center or to opposite field, so those specific wind conditions cause wind to travel behind their most likely hit directions. Wind in the hitters face will make HR’s difficult.

Hot Air

The less dense air is, the less resistance it will create against a ball off a hitter’s bat, and the easier it will be to get hits and HR’s. No need to get into the physics, but it’s important to know that heat causes air to become less dense. This significantly increases the ability for players to hit HR’s, on average over 20% for 90+ degree heat than for 60-70 degree heat. Because HR’s are the highest point event for any hit, that increase can have a significant effect on that player’s fantasy point projection.

Summary

  • The effect of thin air at Coors Field causes it to be the most hitter friendly park in baseball.
  • Long delays caused by rain sometimes cause teams to scratch their pitcher because of injury risk but never will affect hitters.  Games can be cancelled because of rain and thunderstorms. It is generally not worth it to use players in a game that has a risk to be cancelled.
  • Wind can create more HR friendliness as well as advantages for left handed hitters over right handed ones, or vice versa.
  • Heat causes air to become less dense which creates favorable conditions for hitters, especially with home runs.

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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