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Stats corner: How important is home-field advantage in the playoffs?

How critical is for the Dodgers -- or any team -- to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs?
How critical is for the Dodgers — or any team — to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs?
(Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers have clinched the NL West, but are still trying to hold off the Atlanta Braves in the race to clinch home-field advantage in the NL playoffs, and are vying with the New York Yankees and Houston to have home-field advantage in the World Series. But how important is home-field advantage? Let’s take a look at the NLCS, ALCS and World Series since 2001 and see how many times the team with HFA won the series. We’ll list the team with HFA and if they won or not.

2001
NLCS: Arizona had HFA, Win series? yes
ALCS: Seattle, no
World Series: Arizona, yes

2002
NLCS: St. Louis, no

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ALCS: Minnesota, no
World Series: Angels, yes

2003
NLCS: Chicago, no
ALCS: New York, yes
World Series: New York Yankees, no

2004
NLCS: St. Louis, yes

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ALCS: New York, no
World Series: Boston, yes

2005
NLCS: St. Louis, no
ALCS: Chicago, yes
World Series: Chicago White Sox, yes

2006
NLCS: New York, no
ALCS: Oakland, no
World Series: Detroit, no

2007
NLCS: Arizona, no
ALCS: Boston, yes
World Series: Boston, yes

2008
NLCS: Philadelphia, yes

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ALCS: Tampa Bay, yes
World Series: Tampa Bay, no

2009
NLCS: Dodgers, no
ALCS: New York, yes
World Series: New York Yankees, yes

2010
NLCS: Philadelphia, no
ALCS: Texas, yes
World Series: San Francisco, yes

2011
NLCS: Milwaukee, no
ALCS: Texas, yes
World Series: St. Louis, yes

2012
NLCS: San Francisco, yes

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ALCS: New York, no
World Series: San Francisco, yes

2013
NLCS: St. Louis, yes
ALCS: Boston, yes
World Series: Boston, yes

2014
NLCS: St. Louis, no
ALCS: Baltimore, no
World Series: Kansas City, no

2015
NLCS: New York, yes
ALCS: Kansas City, yes
World Series: Kansas City, yes

2016
NLCS: Chicago, yes
ALCS: Cleveland, yes
World Series: Cleveland, no

2017
NLCS: Dodgers, yes
ALCS: Houston, yes
World Series: Dodgers, no

2018
NLCS: Milwaukee, no
ALCS: Boston, yes
World Series, Boston, yes

So, in those 54 series, the team with home-field advantage won 32 times and the team without won 22 times. In the last four years, after the first-round, teams with HFA have won nine of 12 series.


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