For the first time ever, every game in a World Series was won by the visiting team.
Say what you want, but baseball is dying. More people watched the Thursday night matchup between the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings than any of the first five games in the World Series. A terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE, regular-season NFL game drew many more viewers than the most important MLB games of the entire year. That leads to the current question: is home-field advantage slowly fading away with the sport of baseball?
First, let's gather some evidence from this year's postseason before we make any claims.
Wild Card (Home-Field Advantage Won 1/2)
The Wild Card matchups in both leagues ended up with one away win (Rays), which was quite convincing, and one home win (Nationals), which the Nationals barely won.
Divisional Series (Home-Field Advantage Won 2/4)
NLDS: Cardinals vs. Braves (Braves lost with HFA)
This series took all five games, with three road wins and two home wins. I personally watched every game in this series, and trust me when I tell you home-field advantage was not a factor at all. Especially in game five. I will have nightmares from that first inning for the rest of my life.
NLDS: Dodgers vs. Nationals (Dodgers lost with HFA)
This series also took all five games, and again, there were three road wins and two home wins. Similar to the other national league divisional series, the home team did not play any different on the road versus at home from a viewer's perspective. And when the Nationals went to LA for the elimination game five, they silenced all Dodger fans, in one of the hardest stadiums to win in on the road. The Nationals literally took two out of three games in LA, which only happened a couple of times in the entire regular season.
ALDS: Yankees vs. Twins (Yankees won with HFA)
The Yanks basically steamrolled the Twins and swept them, so two games were taken by the Yankees at home along with the third in Minnesota.
ALDS: Astros vs. Rays (Astros won with HFA)
This was about the most normal series in the entire 2019 postseason. Every game was won by the home team, but consider that the Rays have a small stadium and without many fans and they still took the two at home.
Championship Series (Home-Field Advantage Won 1/2)
NLCS: Cardinals vs. Nationals (Cardinals lost with HFA)
The Nationals steamrolled the Cardinals just like the Yankees did to the Twins. In the process, they took two in St. Louis and came back to DC and took two more, completing the four-game sweep. There is not too much to break down here, other than the fact the Cardinals basically were dead on arrival.
ALCS: Astros vs. Yankees (Astros won with HFA)
In this ALCS, the home team won three games and the road team won three games, making for more of a balanced series. Both teams were strong with the ability to win either at home or on the road.
World Series (Home-Field Advantage Won 0/1)
World Series: Nationals vs. Astros (Astros lost with HFA)
In the history of the Nationals, they have never won a game at home in the World Series. But now they have a ring and that fact is irrelevant. Imagine being one of the only fans that bought tickets to all of your team's road games and then you got to see your team crushing the opponent in their own stadium. That was the case in every game of this series, making it quite sad for basically every person who bought an expensive World Series ticket - home-team fans comprise almost all the sales. This could be another reason the ratings were so low - the home teams were never enflamed, which would have made for pretty good entertainment sitting at home.
And there you have it: the home-field advantage teams lost more series than they won, taking just 4/9 of the postseason series. Not to mention the home team lost every single game in the World Series. Whether this phenomenon was a fluke and product of postseason magic, or was actually telling about the dying support of baseball, we can only wait for the future to tell us. But judging from all the games I watched and the outcomes of this postseason, I have to say it might be the latter for now.
Information regarding the MLB postseason matchups can be found here.