|A few more night games might not be a bad idea.|
Before I go any further, I just want to rehash a few main points from yesterday's post:
- Home-field advantage is legitimate in Major League Baseball. Every year since 1901 the home team has won a majority of the games played in baseball (a .540 winning percentage since 1970).
- A study of the 2004 MLB regular season showed that travel leading up to a game has no effect on win probability for either team.
- The study also concluded that home-field advantage is statistically relevant only in games decided by one run.
- Results over the years support that studies conclusion that home-field advantage matters the most in one-run games; the home team has a .608 winning percentage since 1970. The home team has still maintained an advantage in games decided by 2 runs or more (.511) or 3 runs or more (.518).
- Since 1970, the Cubs have MLB's worst winning percentage (.577) in all one-run home games where their advantage should be the highest.
- Explaining home-field advantage is considered one of baseball's most indiscernible mysteries.
- The Cubs, like every team in baseball, have an advantage when playing at home, but theirs has historically been less advantageous than that of any other team.
Most people who care to argue generally take one of a few main positions in explaining the home-field advantage in baseball. The first is that the structure of the game itself favors the home team. They'll argue that having the last at-bat either allows the home team a strategic advantage in one-run games (they know exactly how many runs they need to score in the 9th) or that it simply creates the statistical illusion of an advantage (if the home team is tied or trailing in the 9th, they'll almost always win by one if they win at all, and they never have the opportunity to build on their leads after the 8th inning).