MLB

World Series: Why MLB closed the roof at Globe Life Field for Dodgers vs. Rays Game 3

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will resume their 2020 World Series matchup Friday night when they return to Globe Life Field for Game 3 of the best-of-seven series. Globe Life Field — home to the Texas Rangers — features a retractable roof, and Major League Baseball officials announced that the roof would be closed for Game 3 due to the cold and windy weather conditions in Arlington.

The league released a statement prior to first pitch explaining the decision. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Given Friday’s forecasted temperatures, wind chill, and the possibility of rain, the Commissioner’s Office has determined that the roof of Globe Life Field will be closed for Game Three. MLB, which consulted with medical advisors in reaching this decision, believes that a closed roof will provide the best competitive environment for players and the most comfort for fans without jeopardizing their safety in any way.

The forecast for Friday night predicts that the temperature could drop to 52 degrees with winds up to 16 miles per hour, by the first pitch, scheduled for 8:08 p.m. ET. With the roof shut, Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that they expect baseballs to lose 10-15 feet in carry. The Rays, of course, play their home games at Tropicana Field, the league’s only non-retractable domed stadium. 

As far as scoring goes at a closed Globe Life Field, Eric Stephen of True Blue LA provided some numbers from the regular season: 

In 24 regular season games with the roof closed this season, the Rangers and their opponents combined for 8.2 runs and 1.79 home runs per game, both under the numbers for 30 Rangers road games (8.9 runs, 2.57 homers per game).

Game 3 of the 2020 World Series will be the first postseason game at Globe Life Field with the roof closed. Globe Life Field has been the neutral-site host for this year’s NLDS, NLCS and the World Series. During Game 4 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Braves, the roof was notably open, despite strong winds that affected players and pitchers throughout the game.

MLB said that the reason for keeping the roof open had to do with the fans in attendance. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, up to 11,500 fans are allowed to attend games in Texas throughout the NLCS and World Series rounds. The league said it prefers to keep the ballpark’s roof open, weather permitting, to limit any potential spread of the coronavirus — which is spread through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the virus — among fans.

With two aces on the mound for Game 3 (RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Walker Buehler) and now, a closed roof, Game 3 could turn out to be a low-scoring game.



 

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