CHICAGO -- As we gear up our loins for the Game 3 battle in the World Series, we best be prepared to see fly balls carry far further than they should in Wrigley Field Friday night. That's because this game between the Indians and Cubs is going to be played with some excessive wind, and she's blowing out to left.

The view a few hours before the game:

The flags on the old scoreboard:


The winds are expected to be around 15-17 miles per hour in a similar direction throughout the expected game time. The good news is it's not really cold (will only drop to 63 degrees) and there's a zero percent chance of rain.

So on the weather front, the only real question is how many homers we'll see. Stating the obvious is that this benefits the offense and hurts the pitchers, but does it benefit either team?

Josh Tomlin is starting for the Indians. He gave up 36 home runs this season, second only to Jered Weaver. He gives up fly balls on 35.2 percent of the batted balls against him, which was 32nd of 73 qualified pitchers this season; it might be fair to call him a fly-ball pitcher, but he's not extreme by any stretch of the word. He did rank 13th of 73 in hard contact rate, though.

With Tomlin, of course, we need to discuss how he's gotten better of late. He's worked hard to really develop extra effectiveness on his curveball. In his last four regular-season starts, he posted a 1.75 ERA and only allowed one home run in 25 2/3 innings. He's pitched to a 2.53 ERA in two postseason starts and hasn't yet allowed a home run. That's 10 2/3 innings against the powerful Red Sox and Blue Jays.

On the Cubs' side, Cy Young candidate Kyle Hendricks gets the ball. He allowed only 15 home runs in the regular season, good for the fifth-lowest home run rate (HR/9) in the NL. His 31.3 percent fly ball rate ranks 51st of 73 qualified pitchers in the majors, meaning he's a decent amount better than average at not allowing fly balls. He also led the majors in soft contact rate.

So on paper the wind looks to be advantage Cubs, but Tomlin has been greatly improved in recent weeks. Let's also keep in mind that it only takes one swing to put a crooked number on the board and it's not like Hendricks never allows flies.

Anything can happen, as we know. The wind in Game 3 is a game-changer. It should be fun, maybe quite wild. Enjoy.