CHICAGO — The first World Series game at Wrigley Field since 1945 could turn into an all-out home run fest thanks to an expected stiff wind blowing out to centerfield.
By the time the Cubs and Indians start Game 3 — scheduled for 7:08 p.m. Friday — there will be winds blowing 20-30 mph southwest to northeast, said Charles Mott, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
That's from home plate to centerfield at the northeast facing ballpark.
What's more, wind gusts are expected to 40 mph during the game, Mott said.
"Balls that would just typically maybe be reaching the warning track are just gonna fly right out," said Andrew Ziola, of suburban Elmhurst, who runs a website, Winds Blowing Out, where he keeps track of the wind speed and direction at Wrigley.
While the wind could help the Indians as much as the Cubs, the North Side team might benefit the most: Kyle Hendricks is expected to pitch for the Cubs on Friday, and Hendricks has the ability to keep balls down and stop hits from becoming dingers, Ziola said.
"I think [the wind's] gonna give both teams an advantage unless the pitchers can combat it, which I think is an advantage for Hendricks," said Ziola.
Ziola said the wind should make for an exciting game for fans. That Wrigley wind has played a significant role in the postseason, at times helping and hindering the Cubs. At one point, a Bay Area sports commentator even said the wind had played as large a role in deciding a Cubs-Giants game as the pitchers, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"I've been to many games at Wrigley, and that's the first thing I've done — and I know a lot of the players do, too — is look at the flags and see if they're blowing out," Ziola said. If they are, "the hitters get excited, and the pitchers a little more nervous ... ."
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