On Tuesday, the real 2020 postseason begins for the Dodgers. And for the National League, games will be hosted at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, up through the World Series.
The new facility has a retractable roof that will be open during games, and some are unsure as to how that will affect the long ball. In its debut season, Globe Life played as a pitcher’s park overall but with the roof open, Dave Roberts isn’t so sure:
“From what I understand, it does allow for the ball to travel a little bit further, what that means, I really don’t know.”
As everyone is well aware, both the Dodgers and Padres tend to rely on the home run ball. LA paced all of baseball in homers with 118, while the Padres have relied on it so often they earned the moniker Slam Diego after a stretch of grand slams they have had in fairly recent weeks.
Back in Arlington, the ballpark’s roof was only open for seven of the 30 home games, so the sample size is relatively small in regards to open air and the effect it has on the game. Stadium principal architect Fred Ortiz told the LA Times on Sunday that he isn’t certain of what the teams should expect.
“It will be interesting to see how prevailing winds will make their way in there and may possibly alter the trajectory of a ball. But I think that’s to be seen.”
Ball trajectory and height aren’t the only things the teams will have to get used to. With a synthetic field, parts of the roof and walls being transparent glass, and the outfield fences deliberately built with “quirky” angles, both teams will surely run into a bit of trouble. However, this may also add to the number of balls in play and create a more exciting experience for fans.
So which team will be affected more and will the Dodgers have any kind of home-field advantage? To say it’s a toss-up, might be a little too on the nose, but Padres manager Jayce Tingler doesn’t seem to be worried:
“It’s a beautiful ballpark, we enjoyed playing here. The park was designed beautifully. We love the dimensions. All aspects of it.”
Either way, the NLDS looks to be a roller coaster of emotions for fans and no one is entirely sure as to what will happen or who will benefit from field conditions in this match-up. How do you feel this series will play out? Let us know in the comments below!