Monday, August 4, 2008

On the Road Again, Just Can't Wait to get on the Road Again

In Second City, as is the case with any baseball world, the reward for achievment is the idea of home field advantage. The players sleep in their own beds, play in front of their own crowds. It is long held that being at home is something that is of great importance. Frankly, I wish I had a trite Murray Chass column to deconstruct FJM style, but alas, the writers covering the Second City league for the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post are not nearly prolific enough. But enough of the small talk. What got me thinking about this study was the crazy home-road splits we have been seeing very early on in the season. (sample size alert!) So far, only 6 of the 16 NL teams, and an 3(!) of the AL teams have winning hone records (or home records, if you know how to type). How have these splits compared with the past? Obviously you would expect that this gap will close as the season evolves, but looking at the first eight seasons of home records:

Season 1: 1277-1315 (49.3%)
Season 2: 1283-1309 (49.5%)
Season 3: 1260-1332 (48.6%)
Season 4: 1254-1338 (48.4%)
Season 5: 1327-1265 (51.2%)
Season 6: 1268-1324 (48.9%)
Season 7: 1256-1336 (48.5%)
Season 8: 1309-1283 (50.5%)
Total: 10234-10502 (49.4%)

Season 9 to date: 111-145 (43.4%)

Obviously small sample size alert for Season 9, but the trend has been interesting. Certainly very little statistical evidence exists for a home field advantage, despite the punditry saying otherwise.

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