MLB playoffs 2023: Houston Astros to play first 2 ALDS games vs. Minnesota with the MMP roof closed

The decision was made despite temperatures in the 70s for both first-pitch times.

ByMatt Guillermo KTRK logo
Saturday, October 7, 2023
The roof, the roof, the roof, is it open? Fate of outdoor ALDS decided
The Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins will be playing under a closed Minute Maid Park roof for the first two ALDS games, the ballpark announced.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- No detail goes unnoticed when Astros fans are talking about high-stakes, postseason baseball.

And since playoff series can be decided with every little decision, 'Stros fans' moods about their team can come out of thin air.

Speaking of, the club and its opponents, the Minnesota Twins, just learned whether they will be playing under the Texas sky for the first two American League Division Series games on Saturday and Sunday.

So, is the Minute Maid Park roof open for ALDS Games 1 and 2?


The ballpark confirmed the roof's status on Friday, which it hopes will be more of an advantage in terms of home crowd noise.

"Show up early. Wear orange. Be LOUD," Minute Maid Park posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

So, a lid will be on the Juice Box despite the 13 AccuWeather team forecasting conditions favorable for outdoor Houston baseball.

For Game 1's 3:45 p.m. first-pitch, the temperature in downtown Houston will be in the mid 70s, with north winds at 10-15 mph and stronger gusts. Game 2's 7 p.m. first-pitch time is slightly different, with temps in the low 70s and light winds.

SEE MORE: Astros vs. Twins ALDS: Game times, FanGraphs odds to win series, starting pitchers, lineups for 2023 postseason matchup

At least, the walk to the ballpark will be less stifling than those shaky last weeks of the regular season.

Of course, ABC13 would be remiss not to mention the impact of open-air games in Houston, with last year's playoffs the most recent example. The Astros' AL Championship Series opponents, the New York Yankees, were on the unfortunate end of an open roof, at least according to the club's manager.

Aaron Boone blamed the open air for preventing an Aaron Judge fly ball from heading out of the ballpark in their Game 2 loss.

"I think the roof open kind of killed us," Boone said.

Over the years, ABC13 Sports has learned that Astros players prefer a closed roof, but that decision in the postseason isn't up to them. Major League Baseball reportedly makes the call.

So, if you still have nightmares of former Atlanta Braves slugger Jorge Soler sending a moonshot out to Crawford Street in 2021, you can blame baseball.

JV's opposing starting pitcher revealed

Twins manager has chosen to go with Bailey Ober to face off with Justin Verlander on Saturday.

Ober is 8-6 in 26 starts this past season. He was sent down to Triple-A for about a month before returning to the team on Sept. 15.

It will be the first career postseason start for the big right-hander, who was not included on the wild-card roster.

Astros' ALDS pre-game programming announced

Eyewitness Sports has learned the who's who for pre-game goings-on for Games 1 and 2, including National Anthem performers, ceremonial first pitchers, and the "Play Ball" callers.

Game 1 - Saturday

  • National Anthem performed by: The Apollo Chamber Players
  • Colors presented by: Joint Forces Color Guard
  • Ceremonial first pitch thrown by: Gallery Furniture's Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale
  • "Play Ball" call by: Space City Home Network's Todd Kalas, Geoff Blum, and Julia Morales

Game 2 - Sunday

  • National Anthem performed by: Kendale Walker
  • Colors presented by: Harris County Sheriff's Office
  • Ceremonial first pitch thrown by: Houston Dynamo star Hector Herrera and club legend Brian Ching
  • "Play Ball" call by: Former Astos outfielder Josh Reddick

There will also be Street Fests for each game to coincide with ballpark gates opening. Game 1's festivities begin at 1 p.m., while Game 2 is set for 4 p.m.

2023 ALDS schedule, best of five games

  • Game 1: Minnesota at Houston, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.
  • Game 2: Minnesota at Houston, Sunday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m.
  • Game 3: Houston at Minnesota, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 3 p.m.
  • Game 4: Houston at Minnesota, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 1:07 p.m.*
  • Game 5: Minnesota at Houston, Friday, Oct. 13, 3:07 p.m.*+

All times Central Time.

* - if necessary

+ - If only one ALDS Game 5 remains on Friday, Oct. 13, the game will be at 7:03 p.m.

ESPN contributed to this story.

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