I would say I agree that it should be there, the car was designed with it there, then it should be there.
Perhaps its function is to help direct the incoming airflow in the engine compartment as well.
Without it the airflow might not get to places it was designed to.
I like the fact that my car still has it. It really is a pain if you remove the drain plug to do oil changes, I used a topsider most of the time, and do a drain plug removal once every so often for that extra sludge out AKA Larry Bible style, pull the plug when its hot and let it drain overnight..