Friday, July 14, 2017

All-Star Game Home Field Advantage?

So, the All-Star Game will no longer decide home field advantage for the World Series? Now, is that a big deal, a total non-event, or maybe something in between?

I guess we’ll just have to see.  That said, there is some data from the past.  Let’s take a look …

Home Field Advantage Not Based on All-Star Game

There’s actually a couple of ways to slice this data.  One of the most obvious ones is pre- and post-playoffs.  


From 1903 through 1968, it was all pretty straightforward.  The team with the best record in one league played the team with best record in the other.  And the one with the better record got home field advantage.

How did that go?  Well, it was actually pretty even.  The home team won at a 52% clip. That’s a 52/48 split.

1937 AL All-Stars
(Gehrig, Cronin, Dickey, DiMaggion, Gehringer, Foxx, Greenberg)

Now, there’s an interesting wrinkle with this however. Until 1924, there seemed to be no real order to the schedule. One year, the teams might travel after every game. The next, it might have been 2-2-1-1-1, or 3-4, or even 3-4-1 or 2-3-2-1 (yup, there were a couple of years where they played 8 games). It was only 1924 and after that they agreed on the standard 2-3-2. 

That didn’t really seem to make any difference though. From 1903 to 1923, the split was 51/49. From 1924 to 1968, it was 52/48.

Playoff Era

Now, how does this compare with the playoff era?  Well, that is a big difference.  For those 33 years, the split was 62/38

How did that come about? Well, you got me …

Ah, the 70s

Home Field Advantage Based on All-Star Game

So, which split does the All-Star era follow? Interestingly, it’s a lot closer to the pre-playoff era, with a 55/45 split. 

And that, of course, seems more legit than those particularly skewed numbers from the post-playoff / pre-All-Star era (1969 – 2002). In other words, what we all thought would result in some real skewing actually had just the opposite effect.

Of course it was Bud Selig's idea

Why is that the case? And how do you explain those weird numbers from 1969 to 2002. Once again, I haven’t a clue.

That said, I am happy that the “this time, it’s for real” thing has been dropped. It just never seemed right. Now, if we could only get rid of that damn play-in game.  I’ve pretty much given up on the designated hitter.

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