Since 2017, home-field advantage has been provided to the league champion club with the higher regular-season win-loss record, with the exception of 2020, when all games of the series were played in a neutral-site ballpark. The first two games were held at Chicago's Citi Field, and the last three games were held at Washington's Nationals Park.
The Cubs have used their home field advantage to its fullest extent during the regular season. They are 251-245 (.509) all time as the host team including playoffs. The White Sox are 1-1 when hosting a Game 7 (last year: Cubs).
Cubs fans have long expected their team to dominate on their home turf, and they've been given yet another reason to be excited about Wrigley Field this season. The team has scored at least five runs in every game this season that it has won, and only one game that it has lost.
During the regular season, the Cubs outscored their opponents by 549 points while winning 67% of their home games compared to 48% away from Wrigley Field. The White Sox finished with the second highest percentage of home wins in the majors (57%) despite having the third lowest average score per game (3.7).
The AL's 7-5 victory over the NL in the 2005 MLB All-Star Game earned Chicago home-field advantage. The White Sox will host all or part of the AL Championship Series for the second consecutive year.
In 2004, Chicago lost to Houston in seven games. Last season, the White Sox defeated Cleveland in five games to advance to the ALCS for the third time in four years. They will try to win their first World Series since 1961 if they defeat the Astros in six games.
Chicago has reached the ALCS each of the last two seasons after finishing first in its division each year - 2002 with Kenny Rogers as their manager and 2001 with Joe Girardi doing double duty on an interim basis after Ozzie Guillen was fired following the season. The White Sox have never won the World Series.
In the National League, Houston received home field advantage based on its division title. The Astros finished eight games ahead of San Francisco in the West.
Houston is making its third appearance in the ALCS and looking to become the first team to repeat as champions since Oakland in 1973 and 1974. The Astros lost to Boston in seven games in 2004 and to New York in five games in 2003.
The MLB All-Star Game does not decide home-field advantage in the World Series. Thankfully, the MLB All-Star Game is no longer a game with any meaningful importance. The regulation was ultimately amended in 2017 to give home-field advantage to the club with the greater regular season record.
In fact, prior to the introduction of the current system, there were only two occasions when the All-Star Game resulted in a change of title: 1957 and 1958. Both times, the team that won the game went on to win the World Series.
Since the creation of the Wild Card playoff system in 1994, there have been five more instances when the All-Star Game result has changed the championship race: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2012, and 2013. Again, all five times, the team that won the game went on to claim its first world title at the end of the season.
So, considering all previous instances where the All-Star Game has influence over the pennant race, you can see that it isn't responsible for giving one team a competitive edge over the other.
The new system did result in Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant being selected as an All-Star for the first time in his career. The league's best hitter didn't hesitate to praise the selection after winning his second consecutive MVP award. "I think they saw something special this year," Bryant said.
The home field The advantage for the World Series is now determined by which league wins the "All-Star Game," which is a critical subject of contention for all baseball fans. Previously, the two leagues merely alternated—one year the AL, the next the NL. But in 1957, when the game was played at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, it was won by the National League, 3 to 1. As a result, beginning with the 1958 series, the team that wins the All-Star Game goes on to win the World Series.
The stadium that most closely resembles what you'll find at Major League Baseball stadiums across America serves as the home field for the Atlanta Braves. Built in 1991, SunTrust Park is known for its unique feature: a giant screen above the left-field stands that displays video footage of events during games. The World Series has been held there twice before, in 1995 and 1999. It's also used for other major sports events such as NCAA basketball tournaments and NFL exhibitions.
Suntrust Park isn't the only new ball park to host the Series. The Chicago Cubs opened Wrigley Field in 1914, one year after the original Series ended in error; since then, no other ballpark has hosted more than three games. However, none have been as famous or popular as Wrigley Field, so much of what happens there will not apply to Suntrust Park.
That format, on the other hand, was only implemented in 2017. From 2003 through 2016, World Series home-field advantage was provided to the team from the league that won that year's All-Star Game, a regulation enacted following a 7-7 tie in the 2002 Midsummer Classic. The winning manager decided who would pitch first.
Prior to the 2002 All-Star Game, there had been talk of giving the World Series home-field advantage by default to the winner of the All-Star Game. But the idea never came to fruition because there was no way to determine who would win until after both teams had played their games. By then, it would be too late to make any changes - if either team won four games they would both go away on vacation instead!
The American League has won the All-Star Game nine times and the National League eight times.
The last time these two leagues met in an All-Star Game was 2015. The National League won that game 5-4 in 15 innings. Brandon Woodruff of the Milwaukee Brewers took the loss for the National League squad. Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays pitched a perfect inning before giving up a run-scoring hit to Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets.
In a statement issued alongside the study, researchers from the German Sports University Cologne stated that the pattern of home-field advantage has been scientifically confirmed time and time again. Football teams in Germany's Bundesliga win an average of 47 percent of their home games. In England's Premier League, the figure is 40 percent.
The research also revealed some surprising facts about other sports. For example, in men's NCAA basketball, the favorite team will win 55 percent of its games when it holds the opposition below its season average in terms of wins. In other words, if a team is going to win, it better be on top.
In women's NCAA basketball, the favorite team will win 60 percent of its games when it holds the opposition below its season average in terms of wins. That means if a team is going to win, it better be good!
In Major League Baseball, the favorite team will win 54 percent of its games when it holds the opposition below its season average in terms of wins.
In National Football League (NFL), the favorite team will win 52 percent of its games when it holds the opposition below its season average in terms of wins.
In the NBA, the favorite team will win 51 percent of its games when it holds the opposition below its season average in terms of wins.