Can MLB Weather Get Too Hot?

With handicapping legend Tony Salinas


You longtime readers know that I strongly encourage you to focus on weather when making Major League Baseball selections. You should know the forecast for wind direction. You should know weather it's going to be sunny or cloudy in day games (it's easier to see the ball when the sun is out). Game time temperature is a must. Also, if you watch a lot of games on TV, you should already have notes on what time the shadows start to cross the mound and make it harder to hit.

The general rule for temperatures is that cold weather helps pitchers and leads to Unders...with warm weather helping hitters and leading to Overs.

There's only one exception to that warm weather Over rule in my book, and we're already starting to see examples this season because it's gotten hot earlier than normal.

If it's VERY hot, you want to bet Unders because both teams are trying to get the game over with as fast as possible!

I noticed this some back in the days of artificial turf, where you'd have brutal days in St. Louis or one of those old ashtray ballparks in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. They'd happen in late July or early August rather than in early June! But, you'd see a weekday game, or a Sunday afternoon game fly to completion because nobody wanted to work the count for good pitches...nobody wanted to get on base and try to manufacture a run...and umpires weren't going to call borderline pitches balls because they wanted to get off the field too.

Here are some guidelines:

  • If it's 95 degrees or higher in a day game, back off the Over unless you have home run hitters in a home run park.
  • If it's 95 degrees or higher in a day game, and both teams have to travel afterward (which often happens on Sundays in the summer), strongly think about the Under as long as you have decent pitchers on the mound and it's not an easy home run park.
  • If it's 95 degrees or higher in a day game, back pitchers who like to nibble at the plate. They're going to get every call on a day like this because the last thing a home plate umpire wants is a three-and-a-half hour game in brutal conditions.

What about night games? I'd still be looking at Overs in night games because temperatures tend to cool off once the sun goes down. Maybe it's too hot for batters to focus in the first few innings. That won't be an issue after that...and you'll have starting pitchers getting tired just as the hitters are ready to rumble.

I'd also pay attention to humidity. Sometimes you get temperatures in the low 90's in a place like Washington DC, Miami (where the Florida Marlins play) or elsewhere along the Eastern seaboard where the humidity is so high that it feels like it's hotter. The same rules would apply there. Even though St. Louis plays on natural grass instead of artificial turf, they can still have some brutal days as well.

Summer generally means more offense and more Overs. You saw that again this year when the temperatures started to warm up. I hope you switched from Under-heavy to Over-heavy with your own totals bets in Las Vegas (where it feels like summer most of the year!). Be sure you're using caution when temperatures get SO HOT that hitter's are more interested in swinging for the fences or getting back to the dugout rather than playing baseball. I normally supply this warning to readers a few weeks from now. These very hot forecasts encouraged me to step in now so you could avoid some bad mistakes.

My baseball has been doing very well once again this season thanks to my focus on weather, umpires, and streaks. If you're tired of taking the worst of it with your own picks, start GETTING THE BEST OF IT WITH TONY SALINAS! My prices are very affordable to go through the All-Star Break of the rest of the season. Be sure to check out my early football packages too. I offer discounts to everyone willing to make a commitment to me during the summer for the coming football season.

If you have any questions, call my office at 1-888-536-8880.

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