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Home Field Advantage July 9, 2011

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Economics.
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The Mets unfortunately played a 10 PM game in San Francisco last night, so I’m short on sleep today. I do remember, though, that Gary Cohen mentioned, repeatedly, the Giants’ significant home field advantage. Even after last night’s loss at the hands of Carlos Beltran (coming from a rare blown save by Brian Wilson), the Giants have a .619 winning percentage at home (26-16) versus a .500 winning percentage on the road (24-24). Interestingly, their run differential is much worse at home – they’ve scored 205 and allowed 184 on the road for a total differential of +21, but their run differential at home is actually negative. They’ve scored 120 but allowed 135 for a differential of -15.

Some of that is due to the way walk-offs are scored – they end an inning immediately, so a scoring inning at home is cut short when the same inning on the road would continue and might lead to further scoring – but it’s still quite shocking to see that large a split. So far, the Giants have only scored 11 walk-off RBIs, compared with only 7 RBIs in the 9th inning on the road that came with the Giants ahead. So, even adding in an extra few runs wouldn’t account for the difference.

Last year, there wasn’t much of a home field effect at all. Running a very simple linear regression of runs scored against dummy variables for playing at home and playing with a DH, I estimated that

R_{2010} = 4.17 + .02 Home + 1.47 DH

and only the intercept term, which represents (essentially) the unconditional average number of runs the Giants score, was significant.

For this year, the numbers are quite different.

R_{2011} = 4.24 - 1.38 Home + .26 DH

with both the intercept and Home terms significant at the 95% level. It’s clear that the Giants are winning more at home, but it’s not because they’re scoring more at home.

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Comments»

1. Padre Differential « The World's Worst Sports Blog - July 11, 2011

[…] actually plays into an earlier post I made, which was about home field advantage for the Giants. It started off as a very simple regression for National League teams to see if the Giants’ […]


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