Blog Entry

In Game 7, home team has edge (or not)

Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:51 pm
ST. LOUIS -- You've no doubt heard by now that no road team has won a World Series Game 7 in 32 years.

The Cardinals won at home in 1982, the Royals did it in 1985, the Mets in 1986, the Twins in both 1987 and 1991, the Marlins in 1997, the Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Angels in 2002.

It's tough to win the decisive game on the road . . . except when it isn't.

There were three decisive Game 5's in the Division Series this month. Two of the three were won by the road team (Cardinals over Phillies, Tigers over Yankees).

The Rangers won a decisive Game 5 last year at Tampa Bay.

The Cardinals won Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series on the road.

In fact, over the last 10 years, there have been 18 decisive games in the postseason (Game 5 in the Division Series, Game 7 in the LCS or World Series), and the visiting team has won 11 of them.

After Game 5 three weeks ago at Yankee Stadium, Tigers manager Jim Leyland made the argument that it can actually be an advantage to be on the road, because there's more pressure on the home team (certainly true in the cases of the Yankees and Phillies), and because there are more distractions at home.

Oh, and about those eight straight road-team wins in Game 7 of the World Series?

Go back through eight more Game 7's, and it basically evens out. From 1965-79, the road team won seven out of eight Game 7's.


Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: October 30, 2011 6:41 pm

In Game 7, home team has edge (or not)

There is no such as thing as momentum, not at least in the sense in which the word is used to describe sports. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose, and there was nothing about Game 6 that preordained what was to happen in Game 7; if this weren't true than why didn't Texas win Game 6, considering they had 'the momentum'?

It's a pretty normal thing to do to look for trends and to think that things are related; we do this all the time when we say that somebody has won 3 of 4 or whatever- we conveniently ignore the result that doesn't fit the pattern (winning 3 of 4 usually means 3 of 5 (or 6, or 7, etc)). But just because it's a normal thing to do doesn't mean it's accurate.

Last year the Giants took 2 of 3 in Texas, where the Rangers had the advantage of a DH, this in what ended up being a 5 game series. So, even with the strategy regarding pitchers being favorable the AL team still lost.

Usually when you get to the playoffs the home field advantage is meaningless; the teams are evenly matched so luck is much more a factor than home field. Go back and look at the results since the advent of the wild card and you'll see what I mean.

Since: Jul 26, 2011
Posted on: October 30, 2011 11:28 am

In Game 7, home team has edge (or not)

It wasn't that just that St. Louis was better and had momentum, they were at home.  Though home field advantage should be earned by record and not by the Alll Star game.  There also has to be acknowledgement given to the fact that the DH isn't in the National League.  You get home field advantge in the National League and the strategy for the American league is out the window with regards to pitchers.  Two years in a row now for the National League.  The DH needs to go away.

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:10 pm

In Game 7, home team has edge (or not)

It makes no difference who is the home team here, and as Knobler noted it's just a matter of increasing the sample size and that so-called historical Game 7 advantage disappears. Baseball has the smallest home field advantage in sports, a little over 54% of games are won by the home teams, and that's over a century of results. As the Rangers and Cards have proven over the last week, they are roughly equivalent, so it's anyone's guess who will win it all.

The great thing about it now is that the only thing left to do is play the game: all the talk about who has the advantage going in to Game 7 is irrelevant.

Since: Jul 26, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:07 pm

In Game 7, home team has edge (or not)

So what are you saying there Knobler?  I think your post states a whole lot of nothing.  The home team that came back time after time last night, will finish it off.  St. Louis has the pitching edge and the clutch hitting.  The Rangers bullpen stinks and the Ranger ace is not on the hill tonight.  By the way, the Angels got lucky in that game seven.  The SF Giants coach made bad decisions and that is probably the reason there is even a game 7 tonight, Feliz should have been pulled and for goodness sakes stick in someone who can throw a strike.

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