Wind Effects on Baseball Games and Totals

When we start analyzing all the variables that affect the result of a sports match, we tend to think of past performances, current form, stats, matchups, and injuries. 

How has team X played this season against similar opponents? What’s their ATS record? These two teams have been going under a lot, will it continue? 

How will player Y fare up against player Z

All valid questions.

But there’s one thing that inexperienced investors in the sports wagering market might forget: mother nature. And in baseball she plays a big part. 

Today the ScoreMetrics Labs dives into the data on what kind of effects the weather, and especially wind, have in the Over/Under outcomes of games. With spring training set to start for MLB teams, this is a good time to evaluate your investment strategy for the upcoming baseball season. We’re here to help you with that. 

Before we move on to the data, we’d like to remind you that our head trader John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”, is now on sale for a limited time. So if you want to get a head start into building a solid baseball investment system for the 2020 season, go check it out.

Go where the wind blows

Wind has an effect on baseball games. Period. It has the potential to impact pitchers and batters both positively and negatively. 

When the wind blows out towards center field, the ball is carried farther by it and there’s a greater chance for home runs. This means that we can expect more runs to be scored. 

Vice versa, when it’s winding from center field towards the home plate, it’s harder for batters to hit long balls. The ball will also travel slightly faster towards the plate. Furthermore, sudden strong winds also lead to more fielding errors compared to your average game.

So how should investors take wind into account when making MLB trades?

When we look at data starting from the 2005 season, we notice that the windier it gets, the more runs are being scored. 

With the wind speed at 0-5 MPH, 8.73 runs are scored on average in an MLB game. There’s a drastic change when winds get strong. 

At 16-20 MPH, the scoring average goes up to 9.72 runs per game. 

And when it really blows like crazy at more than 20 MPH, we get to 10.14 runs scored per game on average. 

There has been an edge for long-term investors in the two aforementioned situations. With the wind blowing at 16-20 MPH, games have gone over 53% of the time since 2005. And at 20+ MPH, the rate of games going over is at 54.9%.

Besides taking a look at the weather conditions before games, investors should realize that wind affects ballparks differently. Experienced baseball investors know that the wind hits Wrigley Field the hardest.

Opened in 1914, it’s an old-school park that lacks barriers that can block the wind. When it winds out at Wrigley Field, more than 60% of games have gone over since 2005. And when it winds in, almost 60% of games have gone under. So, when the Chicago Cubs play at home, check the wind forecast and act accordingly.

Other Factors

The wind is not the only condition that has the potential to affect baseball games. 

Air pressure affects how far the ball carries. The thinner the air, the farther the ball flies. This is why scoring totals at Coors Field in Colorado are so high – the air is extremely thin up there and the air pressure rarely changes. 

Temperature also affects how the ball travels. The air gets thinner at higher temperatures, so scores tend to get higher during the summer months. 

Additionally, humidity adds weight to the baseball and makes it harder to hit. And sunny days make it harder for players to track where the ball is going. 

While these are all factors that might have an effect on the results of a game or how individual players perform, the bookmakers have historically done well to take them into account, and we haven’t uncovered any significant edges for investors under any of these conditions.

So there you have it – a short overview of how weather affects baseball games from an investment perspective. Make sure to stay tuned for more as the ScoreMetrics Labs ramps up the MLB coverage heading into the season, and don’t miss out on the ScoreMetrics baseball system in 2020!

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