MLB Playoff Home Field Advantage is granted to teams that excel in the regular season, allowing them to host a greater number of postseason matches based on their rankings or seeding.
Recently, the rules were tweaked because of the addition of extra Wild Card slots. Now, the team with the best overall season record gets to host more games during the playoffs.
Having a game in your own stadium, called “home field advantage”, is seen as a big benefit. The home team gets more support from their local fans, and they play in surroundings they know well.
On the other hand, visiting teams can find it tough. They might have to deal with different weather, travel tiredness, and sometimes even local game rules that might not be in their favor.
There used to be an extra game called the Tiebreaker or Game 163. But from 2023, this game is no longer there. It used to drag the season out more. Now, if teams have the same record, their performance against each other during the season decides who gets the home field advantage.
Lastly, the playoff time is now a bit longer. This is because more teams, 12 in total, compete in the playoffs.
From the first playoff games, the Wild Card Series, right up to the grand World Series, the team with the better season performance gets the home field advantage, regardless of their playoff ranking.
What Does Playoff Home Field Advantage Mean in MLB?
In Major League Baseball (MLB), there’s a rule about home field advantage during the playoffs. This advantage is given to teams that have done well during the regular season, meaning they’ve won more games than other teams.
The MLB playoffs are a series of games. It starts with the Wild Card round, then the Division series, then the Championship, and ends with the World Series. In these series, teams play several games against each other. Some series have three games, and some have as many as seven.
For the shorter series, the team that did better in the regular season gets to play at their own stadium for the first and last games.
For the Division Series, which has five games, the better team plays at home for the first two games and the last game.
For the Championship and World Series, which have seven games, the top team gets to play the first two games at home, then the next three are at the opponent’s stadium, and the last two are back at their own stadium.
In the past, MLB would sometimes use results from the All-Star games to decide which team got this advantage.
Now, the rule is simple: teams that win more games during the season get the advantage. It’s a reward for their hard work and good performance.
In the playoffs, it doesn’t matter where a team is seeded. What matters more is their win-loss record.
For example, among the teams in the Championship series, the Phillies and Astros have been recognized for their great performances at home.
Playing at home can be a big advantage for many teams. But sometimes, teams do well whether they’re playing at home or away. It all comes down to how the team is performing at that time.
Which Team Holds the Home Field Advantage In NCLS?
The Philadelphia Phillies have earned the Home Field Advantage for the 2023 NLCS. This honor is due to their impressive season record of 90-72. When compared to the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ record of 84-78, it’s clear why the Phillies have this advantage.
Each year, the team with the best record during the regular season gets the Home Field Advantage. This year, that honor goes to the Phillies.
Even though they secured their spot in the playoffs through the Wild Card, their win-loss record surpasses that of the Diamondbacks.
It’s worth noting that the Phillies were third in the standings, behind the Braves and Dodgers. However, both those teams were knocked out in the Division series. If they had advanced to the NLCS, their win rates would have been superior to that of the Phillies.
During the second round of playoffs, the Diamondbacks secured their win over the Dodgers, while the Phillies triumphed over the Braves.
As a result, the first two games of the NLCS will be played at the Phillies’ home ground, Citizens Bank Park.
After those matches, the next three games will be hosted by the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The series consists of up to seven games, but if a team wins the first four straight games, they automatically become the champions, making the fifth game redundant.
The Home Field Advantage allows the Phillies to host four out of the seven games. Specifically, they will host the initial two games and the potential final two.
The kick-off game at Citizens Bank Park is on 16 October, starting at 08:07 PM. The next game is on the subsequent day at the same venue and time.
Overall, the teams are guaranteed to play four matches, but this could extend to seven games if there isn’t an outright winner by then.
Which Team Holds the Home Field Advantage In ALCS?
Interestingly, both teams had a similar winning rate, each clinching 90 victories out of 162 games. However, the Astros took the upper hand because of their better performance in matches against the Rangers.
The ALCS began on October 16 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Although the Rangers were away from their home ground, they managed to secure a win against the Astros in this opening match.
The second showdown between the Astros and the Rangers is scheduled at Minute Maid Park in Houston. After this, the next three games will be hosted by the Rangers in Arlington.
The series can extend to a maximum of seven games. However, if any team manages to lead by 3 wins within the first four games, they’ll clinch the championship.
Who Has The Home Field Advantage In World Series 2023?
In 2023, the home field advantage for the World Series is determined by the team’s regular season record. This year, there’s an interesting situation.
The Astros, Rangers, and Phillies all have identical records of 90 wins and 72 losses. This gives each team a winning percentage of .556 for the 162 games they played.
These teams made it to the World Series finals because they were the top teams, known as pennant winners.
Now, if two teams with the same records get to the finals, there are specific rules to break the tie. Notably, no extra game will be played just for this purpose.
The 2023 rules say that if two teams have the same record, the one that performed better when they played against each other during the season will get the advantage. If this doesn’t solve the tie, then they will simply flip a coin to decide.
Before they were out of the running, the Braves were the top team. They had an impressive record of 104 wins and 58 losses, a .642 winning percentage. But in the National League Division Series, the Phillies beat them.
When we look at the four teams left in the Championships, both the Astros and the Rangers from the ALCS have the same record.
The Phillies from the NLCS are leading the Arizona Diamondbacks by six games. If the Diamondbacks manage to win the NLCS, they’ll still have to give up the home-field advantage to whoever wins in the AL.
The World Series is set to kick off on 27 October 2023, with the first two games being hosted by the team with the home field advantage.
We’ll know for sure which team that is after the winners of the ALCS and NLCS are decided. MLB will announce this on 25 October at the latest.