How much is homefield advantage worth in the playoffs?
With the Yankees, Rays, and Twins in a three-way battle for homefield advantage throughout the AL playoffs Cliff Corcoran of SI.com took a look at how much of an impact being the home team has had and found ... well, it’s probably not as important as you’d think. Going back to 1998, when the current schedules were instituted, teams with homefield advantage are 45-39 in playoff series. Now, certainly a .536 winning percentage is better than, say, a .464 winning percentage, but it’s also important to note that the homefield advantage team is typically the stronger team by virtue of having the better record in the first place. So, basically the stronger (if only slightly, in many cases) team with the benefit of homefield advantage has beaten the weaker team 53.6 percent of the time. I’d be hard-pressed to call that significant. Corcoran crunches the numbers even further and finds some other interesting things, but my basic takeaway from the article was “homefield advantage is probably overrated.”