Does Home Field Advantage in the World Series Matter?

Ever since that ridiculousness that ended the 2002 MLB All-Star Game in a tie, the Midsummer Classic HAS MATTERED.

OK, so pretty much everybody hates that the All-Star Game has since decided home field advantage for the World Series, but has it really mattered? Does it actually give the team with home field advantage a true advantage?

Over the past nine seasons the American League has gone 7-2 in All-Star Games, winning every year from 2003 through 2009, while the National League took 2010 and 2011.

In those seven years that the AL had home field advantage, AL teams went 4-3 in the World Series. For individual games, the home team went 20-14.

Over the past two years, San Francisco and St. Louis have both taken the World Series and home teams went 8-4 in individual games.

So since 2003 home teams have gone 28-18 (.609) and the team with home field advantage has won the World Series six times in nine years. It isn’t a huge advantage, but there might be something there. I don’t know if it really matters, but I wouldn’t turn it down.

But here’s the fun part. Had the team with the best regular season record been the team with the home field advantage, it would have been a different team in five of the nine years. All five of those teams lost.

Now we can’t expect that the team with the better regular season record is going to win the World Series every year. What would be the point of playoffs if they did? But it seems that if the majority of teams with home field advantage are winning the World Series, the teams who are losing home field advantage because of the ASG format are indeed getting ripped off.

The NL won this year’s ASG to give their League’s representative in the World Series home field in 2012. The Washington Nationals’ 98 wins led the league this year and they very well may get home field advantage anyway, but we’ll have to wait and see if it does them any good.

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