Sunday, September 23, 2012

The role of home field advantage early in the postseason

PBR - I still want to have some fun with the 2012 playoffs, even though the Phillies essentially are eliminated from postseason contention.
 
One of my areas of baseball research includes creating and testing mathematical formulas and statistical models to predict winners against the Las Vegas sportsbooks. Today I'm taking a look at the importance (or lack thereof) of home field advantage in the divisional round of the postseason.
 
According to research by statistician W.D. Kaigh, home clubs won 54.5% of regular season contests between 1985 and 1993. A similar study conducted by Katherine Miller in 2010 concluded that home clubs won 54.2% of regular season contests between 2000 and 2009. For purposes of comparison, home clubs in 2012 (as of Sept. 22) have a home winning percentage of 53.3%.
 
I went back and examined playoff results from 2000 through 2011, specifically results in the Division Series (LDS) and Championship Series (LCS) and found home clubs have a 54.2% advantage in the LCS but just a 49.7% advantage in the LDS.
 
The difference between 54.2% and 49.7% may seem negligible, but it truly is significant when playing odds and placing bets. Knowing these figures an educated bettor can ignore the added juice sportsbooks routinely give clubs at home and can search for value, especially in the LDS.
 
Over the next few days I'll be sharing some formulas and models that I've been working on over the past year. I'll also share my predictions against the run lines and odds from TopBet.com.

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