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Monday, September 21, 2020

Seeding, not record, will determine who bats last in this year’s neutral-site World Series

The higher seeded team reaching the World Series will have last at-bats in Games 1 and 2 and if needed Games 6 and 7, not necessarily the team with the best record.

The specification was contained in the July 23 agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association to expand the playoffs following a regular season shortened due to the novel coronavirus. A copy of the deal was obtained by The Associated Press.

This year’s change means a No. 1 seed from one league with fewer regular-season wins than a lower seed from the other league would have the ``home-field advantage’’ for the World Series should they both win pennants. In the event both pennant winners have the same seed, regular-season winning percentage would decide which team is “home” for the first two games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2020 at 10:29 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jim P Posted: September 23, 2020 at 09:36 AM (#5978229)
Is there an advantage to batting last on neutral fields? There was a paper maybe 10 years ago that looked at all of the one-run strategies and I thought concluded that the away team actually has the advantage. The defense can bring everyone in if it's tied, or concede the run and avoid walks if up two, or guard the lines, or intentionally walk without worrying about setting up a big inning, while the offense can bunt or steal but otherwise just tries to score runs. Does anyone remember that paper or know of a more contemporary one?

There ought to be empirical evidence as well from college and high school tournaments. And simulations (if they don't build in some sort of home-field advantage already) could give an estimate.

Also, has recent research shown that the visiting team bats worse than expected in the first inning (sort of a pinch-hitter penalty)?
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: September 23, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5978234)
Is there an advantage to batting last on neutral fields?


I don't think there's an advantage to batting last on partisan fields. Then again, I think HFA stems from travel and familiarity/team construction, rather than catcalls.

There was a paper maybe 10 years ago that looked at all of the one-run strategies and I thought concluded that the away team actually has the advantage. The defense can bring everyone in if it's tied, or concede the run and avoid walks if up two, or guard the lines, or intentionally walk without worrying about setting up a big inning, while the offense can bunt or steal but otherwise just tries to score runs. Does anyone remember that paper or know of a more contemporary one?


Both the offense and defense benefit from increased knowledge. The offense can play for/eschew one-run strategies, the defense can basically do the same in reverse. I'd be surprised it if amounted to anything significant either way.

   3. Rally Posted: September 23, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5978243)
I should look up the history of home vs road records in APBA. I have 18 seasons of data if I can get around to collecting them off old hard drives. My recollection is that home field advantage did not exist, teams were equally likely to be worse at home instead of better. My guess is that the game designers did not add anything to make players slightly better at home, just let the ratings play out. If that is correct, and my data are what I remember them being, batting last in itself is not an important factor.

Since 2015 I've moved my league to OOTP, and there is definitely a home field advantage. So my guess is the game designers did some minor tweaks to make players better at home so the game would play this way.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5978254)
The whole playoff system is kind of illogical if you think about it. We effectively had three different leagues this year for the regular season, each split into two divisions. Yet, teams were not competing for wild card spots against some of the teams they were playing against but were against teams they not only never played, but didn’t even have any common opponents with. So, whatever, use seeding. It’s not like the direct records are comparable across regions anyway.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5978256)
Assuming they expand the playoffs next year, is there any point to keeping divisions?
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5978258)

Assuming they expand the playoffs next year, is there any point to keeping divisions?


Limit travel?
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5978274)
Assuming they keep the DH next year, is there any point to keeping the leagues?
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: September 23, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5978275)

Assuming they keep the DH next year, is there any point to keeping the leagues?


I suspect the World Series would be diminished if it were just 30 teams competing in one large league. Every other pro sports league has maintained that same structure (even if they call them conferences), despite having no differences between them.
   9. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5978279)
Assuming they keep the DH next year, is there any point to keeping the leagues?


Assuming the keep 16-team playoffs and refuse to do anything about pace of play issues, is there any point to keeping major league baseball?
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5978316)
Assuming the keep 16-team playoffs and refuse to do anything about pace of play issues, is there any point to keeping major league baseball?


To keep kids off of your lawn?
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: September 23, 2020 at 03:41 PM (#5978319)
Manfred said yesterday he has no intention of going to 16 teams in the future because no bye.

of course, he suggested he was good with 14, alas.

10 with best-of-3 wild-card might be best.

I can nominally live with 12.
   12. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5978326)
To keep kids off of your lawn?


To the contrary! I have cultivated my lawn explicitly FOR kids to play sports on it. My own, certainly, but any other kids are welcome, too. This to the chagrin of my wife who would much rather have a garden of some type. There's very little better in the world than a nice open patch of grass on which to hold whiffle ball home run derbies.

My comment above was facetious; I love baseball and will always love baseball. I don't like many of the changes they've implemented this year, although the hope is that they're only one-year measures. Mostly I think Manfred is bad and he should feel bad.

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