Major League Baseball Postseason - Home-field Advantage - Division Series

Division Series

Until 1998, the Division Series rotated which of the three division champions would not have home field advantage, with the wild card never having it. Now the two division winners with the best records in each league have home field, with the least-winning divisional winner and the wild card not having home field. The DS used a 2-3 format until 1998 and now uses a 2-2-1 format. This is seen as a much fairer distribution of home field advantage because previously under the 2-3 format, the team hosting the first two games had absolutely no chance of winning the series at home. With the current 2-2-1 format however, both teams have the home field advantage in a way. While one team gets to host three games (including the critical first and last game), the other team does get two chances out of three (games 3 and 4) of winning the series on its home field. Also, the team earning homefield is assured of hosting two games instead of the lesser record team being guaranteed the two games.

With the adoption of the expanded playoff format in 2012, the five-game Division Series will begin with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games for higher seeds. This one-year change will eliminate a travel day prior to a decisive Game 5 of a Division Series and was necessary because the 2012 regular-season schedule was announced before the agreement on the new postseason was reached. For 2013, the Division Series could return to the 2-2-1 format used in previous years.

Read more about this topic:  Major League Baseball Postseason, Home-field Advantage

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