Baseball

Does Home Field Advantage Matter in the MLB Postseason?

You hear people talk about it around the postseason time. “Man I really hope my team can get home field advantage”. There’s nothing better than chasing a World Series title with 50,000 crazy, insane fans chanting their team on.

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But all this talk of home field advantage got me thinking…does it even matter in the MLB postseason? I decided to go back the past 10 MLB Postseasons to 2008, and look at every Championship (ALCS/NLCS) and World Series played in that time, to see if the team with home field advantage won the series.

USA Today

Below you will see each year’s ALCS, NLCS and World Series that were played. The first team listed will always be the team with home field advantage. Next to the series will be a simple “yes” or “no”. “Yes” if the team with home field advantage won, “no” if they did not.

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2008

ALCS (TB vs. BOS) – Yes
NLCS (PHI vs. LAD) – Yes
World Series (TB vs. PHI) – No
’08 Total – 2/3

2009

ALCS (NYY vs. LAA) – Yes
NLCS (LAD vs. PHI) – No
World Series (NYY vs. PHI) – Yes
’09 Total – 2/3

2010

ALCS (TEX vs. NYY) – Yes
NLCS (PHI vs. SF) -No
World Series (SF vs. TEX) – Yes
’10 Total – 2/3

2011

ALCS (TEX vs. DET) – Yes
NLCS (MIL vs. STL) – No
World Series (STL vs. TEX) – Yes
’11 Total – 2/3

2012

ALCS (NYY vs. DET) – No
NLCS (SF vs. STL) – Yes
World Series (SF vs. DET) – Yes
’12 Total – 2/3

2013

ALCS (BOS vs. DET) – Yes
NLCS (STL vs. LAD) – Yes
World Series (BOS vs. STL) – Yes
’13 Total – 3/3

2014

ALCS (BAL vs. KC) – No
NLCS (STL vs. SF) – No
World Series (KC vs. SF) – No
’14 Total – 0/3

2015

ALCS (KC vs. TOR) – Yes
NLCS (NYM vs. CHI) – Yes
World Series (KC vs. NYM) – Yes
’15 Total – 3/3

2016

ALCS (CLE vs. TOR) – Yes
NLCS (CHC vs. LAD) – Yes
World Series (CLE vs. CHC) – No
’16 World Series – 2/3

2017

ALCS (HOU vs. NYY) – Yes
NLCS (LAD vs. CHC) – Yes
World Series (LAD vs. HOU) – No
’17 World Series – 2/3

2018

ALCS (BOS vs. HOU) – Yes
NLCS (MIL vs. LAD) – No
World Series (BOS vs. LAD) – Yes
’18 Total – 2/3

As you can see, out of the 33 series played, 22 of the teams that had home field advantage have came out on top, or about 66% of the time.

So the stats sure do say that home field advantage does matter during the MLB postseason, but does it matter as much as other sports? I tend to lead towards no.

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Football for instance, is a one game elimination, not 5 or 7 like we see in baseball. So to play in front of your home crowd once, really increases the chance of the team with home field advantage winning.

Also, in NBA and NHL, I believe the stadium has a lot to do with home court/ice advantage. NBA and NHL arenas are enclosed, so the stadium seems fuller, even though NBA and NHL arenas hold much less people than MLB stadiums.

I would’ve assumed home field isn’t as important in baseball. Mostly because of pitching. There are some pitchers out there, that for whatever reason can’t pitch at home. Not to mention the team is facing 4-5 different pitchers in a series.

The crowd is almost on top of each other in that smaller space, so it seems a lot louder and crazier in those arenas which can definitely effect opposing teams.

So the statistics definitely confirm that when it comes to Championship series and the World Series it is definitely beneficial to have home field advantage.

Featured photo source: si.com

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