USA TODAY Sports
Studying the weather is an excellent way to give yourself a bit of an edge when it comes to putting together your fantasy lineups. You don’t need to be a full-fledged meteorologist, but anticipating conditions in the various home cities will make certain players more – or less – appealing.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of being cautious with games where rain might be a factor; while you should probably avoid these contests altogether in cash-game formats, you can dramatically set your tournament lineup apart from the field by taking a shot on one or more players in rain-threatened games.
Another significant factor to consider is the game-time temperature. Since 2000, temperatures and home runs have shared a fairly linear relation – specifically, the warmer the conditions, the more home runs are hit in a given game.
What this means is that you may want to consider loading up on hitters playing in domed stadiums, or in southern cities, early in the season. As the summer progresses, you’ll want to seek out games played in hot climates over those contested in climate-controlled or cooler-weather locales.
While home runs are only part of what makes for a high-scoring game, the bigger power numbers in hotter climates should make for a convincing tiebreaker between two options playing in different cities. When choosing between the scorcher in Texas and the more comfortable contest in Minnesota, choose the guy playing at Globe Life Park.
This should also make it easier to determine which speculative pitcher options are stronger plays. Would you rather have the guy toiling in the Miami heat, or the guy pitching in temperature-controlled confines in Toronto, Arizona or Tampa Bay? The latter option is the better choice, all other things being equal.
But here’s the problem: All other things are never equal. So use weather and temperature as part of your research methodology, but not on their own. Combine them with other critical factors to make the most informed lineup decisions you can.