Friday, May 23, 2008

Home Teams Winning 78% Above Century Average

Home teams are 411-302 so far this season - a 57.64% win rate - while away teams are struggling. The difference between home (winning 57.64% of games) and away (winning only 42.36% of games) is a 15.29% home field advantage. This number is important because over the past century, home teams have not enjoyed such a high rate of success.

Cy Morong's Historical Trends in Home Field Advantage cites the average home field advantage from 1901 to 2003 as 8.57%, though individual years may be much better, such as the 2003 Colorado Rockies, whose mile-high Coors Field proffered a 29.6% home field advantage. The 2008 season so far, therefore, is running 78% better for home teams than the previous century's normal rate. We can't tell you why, but it does affect how we rate teams. Winning away is much more valuable for a team's ratings this season, since fewer teams are doing it.

We also look at home field advantage from a runs scored v. runs allowed perspective. Home teams have scored 3354 runs and allowed 3054 runs to score, which is an average score of Home Club 4.70 winning over Away Club 4.28. The home field advantage in runs is currently 0.42 runs (4.70 home minus 4.28 away).

You may have heard the rule of thumb which states that if a team scores 5 runs, they have put themselves in an excellent position to win the ball game. The maxim is once again proven true, as any opponent will likely score approximately 4.5 runs per game. And in fact, in the 337 games so far this season in which at least one team has scored 5 runs, 281 (83.38%) of those clubs have won the game.

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