It is late October and the World Series is in Cleveland. Colder temperatures and rain are a concern for the Chicago Cubs tonight during Game 2.
Leaves are changing colors. Winds are brisk. And Halloween is next week. These facts are not lost on anyone; however, it is making news with World Series. And the Chicago Cubs need to be ready for anything.
Because of the weather concerns, Major League Baseball announced that Game 2 would start an hour earlier than scheduled. When it was announced, chances of rain were above 50% for tonight. Currently, the best chances of rain are 45% from 6:00 to 7:00pm Eastern Time. The league hopes to get the full game in tonight, but a plan is in place in case the weather limits play.
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If the game is suspended due to rain, league officials hope to wait it out and continue play. That all depends on the heaviness of the rain and the field conditions. Currently, radar models show the most of the rain will stay north of the stadium. However, if the conditions worse, they will interrupt play and continue on Thursday afternoon. Teams will travel to Chicago upon the completion of the game.
More of a concern is the cold temperatures. Throughout the game, the temperatures will be in the mid-40’s. This chill will make it difficult for pitchers to grip the baseball well and control breaking balls. This could help the Chicago Cubs as they may be more fastballs than planned.
This type of conditions is nothing new to the World Series. In 2008, Game 5 between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies was suspended due to rain. Cubs Manager Joe Maddon managed the Rays that season. Incidentally, the coldest World Series game in the last 40 years also happened in Cleveland in 1997.
Game 2 of the World Series could be a low scoring affair. Cold temperatures and high winds will affect ball flight and feel for the bats. Unless the Cubs hit line drives and move runners over, going home down two games is a possibility.