How Important Is Home-Field Advantage in Baseball Playoff Series?

How Important Is Home-Field Advantage in Baseball Playoff Series?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Two magical teams are about to get at it in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the San Diego Padres (FS1, 8:03 p.m.).

Even optimistic people in Pennsylvania sports betting were surprised to see both the sixth-seeded Phillies and fifth-seeded Padres as the two teams left standing.

The best-of-seven series is a 2-3-2 format with the Padres having home-field advantage (HFA) at the start of the series. utilized, operated by former Philadelphia Daily News scoreboard editor Bob Vetrone Jr., to take a look at NLCS teams that did not have homefield advantage from the outset and advanced to the World Series since 1998.

Home Field Often Conquered in NL found 13 teams that did not have overall home-field advantage advancing to the World Series.

⚾  YearTeam
⚾  2019Washington Nationals
⚾  2018Los Angeles Dodgers
⚾  2014 San Francisco Giants
⚾  2011 St. Louis Cardinals
⚾  2010San Francisco Giants
⚾  2009*Philadelphia Phillies
⚾  2007Colorado Rockies
⚾  2006St. Louis Cardinals
⚾  2005Houston Astros
⚾  2003Florida Marlins
⚾  2002San Francisco Giants
⚾  2000New York Mets
⚾  1998San Diego Padres

*Note: The Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 4-1, in the best-of-seven series before losing to the Yankees, 4-2, in the World Series.

And there will be another team this season added to the list, with both the Phillies and Padres not having homefield advantage throughout.

There have been 24 seasons where the HFA was earned (1998-2021). During that span, NLCS teams with HFA are 11-13. ALCS teams with HFA are 19-5.

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FanDuel Game One, Future Odds

With Zach Wheeler on the mound for the Phillies on Tuesday night to open the series, Philadelphia has been listed at +100 on the moneyline to capture Game 1 and -1.5 runs (+180) on the run line.

The Padres, with Yu Darvish on the mound, are the slight favorites tonight on Pennsylvania sports apps at -118 on the moneyline and +1.5 runs (-220) on the run line. 
To win the NLCS, San Diego is a slight favorite at -120. The Phillies are at +100. 
Philadelphia is listed as the third favorite in Pennsylvania MLB betting to capture the Fall Classic at +350, with the favorite Astros (+150) and the Padres (+310) ahead of them. 
The New York Yankees (+470) and Cleveland Guardians (+1500) round out the top five as the ALDS will be decided today with Game 5 taking place in New York at 4:07 p.m.

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Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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