There is no doubt that there are bigger things in life than baseball. Especially when news of one of the largest hurricanes to ever hit the continental United States made landfall earlier this week on the coast of Texas. With millions of people displaced, one Major League baseball series was displaced as well. That displacement affects everything, including betting odds. Free betting and baseball tips online.
When the Houston Astros were supposed to welcome the Texas Rangers, for the latest involvement of the Silver Boot Series, Hurricane Harvey threw a wrench into the equation. Major League Baseball decided to move the series from the storm stricken area to a different location. They had two choices: a neutral site or the Rangers Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas — a place four hours removed from the devastation.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area through the time of the storm has seen minimal amounts of rain, and seemingly made for a great relocation spot for the series. However, the Rangers were not willing to move the series to their home ballpark, trading their September home series September 25-27th. The question is why, but the answer may make more sense.
After their win on Tuesday night, the Rangers sat 13 games back of the Astros in the American League West division and only 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card. Every game for them matters, especially against their in-state rival. While it may seem heartless in such a time of need when you look at the numbers it makes a little more sense.
The original plan was for the series to take place in Minute Maid Park, a park that is a clear pitcher's park at a mere .819 runs in a park adjusted metric. Park adjusted metrics, according to ESPN, “Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher.” That .819 number ranks Minute Maid Park as the best pitcher's park in the Majors. Compared to the 1.158 park adjusted factor that Globe Life Park–the Rangers home field–yields, making it the 3rd best hitters park.
When facing the best team in the Major leagues, with the best batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage in the entire Major Leagues, it makes sense not to host these crucial games in the third best hitter's park in the league. So the teams and league settled on Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, a neutral site for the series. By the way, Tropicana ranks 24th out of 30 teams in Park facts, coming in at .913 — a park that could slow down the Houston bats.
At the end of the day, our thoughts and prayers go out the victims of Harvey. We hope they can find solace and comfort in these trying times. But, however, the game goes on and in this case it went on in favor of the Texas Rangers.