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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Home Field Advantage Is Dead. Long Live Home Field Advantage

One question looms over everything else when it comes to home field advantage: what percentage of games does the home team win? Over a very long horizon, everything else is just noise. In 2019, for example, home teams won 52.9% of the games they played. In 2018, that number stood at 52.5%. Long-term home field advantage bounces around between 52% and 54%. It’s good to play at home.

How about this year? To look at 2020 data, we need to do a little manual work. So far this year, four teams have played “home” games in opposing stadiums: the Marlins, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Cardinals. The Orioles also played part of a suspended home game in Washington against the Nationals. In all forthcoming analysis, I’ve removed those games from both the home and away datasets used in this article. It’s never exactly clear what home field advantage is measuring — rest, comfort, the crowd, umpiring, or some mixture — so games with nominal home teams playing in away stadiums are best ignored for these purposes.

With that caveat out of the way and those games excluded, home teams have won 50.6% of their games through Monday, August 17. At the broadest possible resolution, home teams are winning a lower percentage of their games this year. Maybe the crowd really is king.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2020 at 08:13 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: home field advantage

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