Over the weekend, I made the mistake of mentioning the wind at Minute Maid Park on a day when the Astros would be closing the roof at the stadium (and that had been the case for several home games in a row). Honest mistake in my mind, and it actually wouldn’t have changed my recommendation on that day, but let’s have a look at what kind of impact the roof’s presence or lack thereof has on offense in Houston.
As always with these exercises, I pulled B-Ref data from 2010 to the present and placed them in buckets based on wind and temperature.
The key differences with the roof closed are that the temperature, which would normally help offenses, stays around 72 or 73 degrees, and the wind is eliminated. At Minute Maid, it appears 90 degrees is the sweet spot at which they’ll close the roof and the let air conditioning kick in. With that said, apparently the “rule” is 80 degrees, but there have been 27 games played above that temperature since 2010.
Anyway, it appears that strong winds do have an impact at the ballpark but those are understandably negated with the roof closed.
|Wind >10 Out||9.09||0.408||34.6|
Turns out that Minute Maid plays very averaged with the roof closed and hitter-friendly with the roof open.
The Daily Five
Ethan Martin – $6,308
The Mets have a .298 wOBA and a 21.8% strikeout rate against righties, David Wright is still out and they just traded Marlon Byrd. There’s also a strong wind blowing right back at home plate at Citi Field. That certainly doesn’t make Martin a safe play with his 6.33 ERA and 6.36 FIP. However, Martin has some solid strikeout potential and said wind should help with his fly ball problem. It’s not a slam dunk pick, but it’s rare you can get a pitcher with any upside this cheap. Gotta risk it to get the biscuit.
Gio Gonzalez – $14,856
On a thin schedule day like today you’re faced with tougher SP budgeting decisions. Gonzalez is the second most expensive pitcher today, sure, but is his price tag really going to hinder you much, especially if you’ve paired him with the cheap Martin? Gonzalez has the Marlins, who have a .283 wOBA against southpaws, by far the worst in the league. And Gonzalez is pretty damn good on his own, too.
Trevor Plouffe – $6,366
I can’t overstate enough how much I don’t believe in Bruce Chen. 2.88 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 4.99 xFIP, no strikeouts and a low groundball rate. This is not a magical pitcher who has found “it” after years of mediocrity. Plouffe is a lefty masher as is and comes pretty cheap on the day, as does his lefty-killing infield mate Brian Dozier, if you’re so inclined as to double down against Chen.
Justin Smoak – $5,571
Smoak is currently following up a red-hot streak with an ice-cold streak. Perhaps Jordan Lyles, a pitch-to-contact type, can help him get his bat back on the ball. For the year, Smoak has a .388 wOBA against righties and hit all 14 of his homeruns against them. I’m willing to hope he bucks the slump at this kind of price.
Andrew McCutchen – $8,066
I’m not sure what the deal is with the price here, as McCutchen comes just above the cost of an average player. He’s got Yovani Gallardo, who has looked good in two straight starts but has struggled to keep the ball in the yard overall. McCutchen has a .370 wOBA against righties, so this just isn’t adding up for me.
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