Friday, December 1, 2023

2023 MLB World Series: How home-field advantage plays out for all four possible matchups

The field for the 2023 World Series championship has been narrowed to just four teams. The champion this season will be the Houston Astros — they’d be the first repeat champion since the 1998-2000 YankeesTexas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks or Philadelphia Phillies

A fun little coincidence here is three of the remaining teams had the exact same record in the regular season. The Rangers, Phillies and Astros all went 90-72. 

As such, you might be wondering who will have home-field advantage in the World Series? 

Home field in the World Series used to be determined by alternating leagues. There was a stretch when the winner of the All-Star Game determined which league had home-field advantage, as dumb as that sounds. Now it’s just determined by best record. If the Phillies win the NL, though, the two teams will have identical 90-72 regular-season records, though. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record in the regular season. 

Here’s who would have home-field advantage in any possible World Series. 

Diamondbacks vs. Rangers

Home-field advantage: Rangers

This one is easy. The D-backs were 84-78 in the regular season, so the Rangers obviously have the better record.

Diamondbacks vs. Astros

Home-field advantage: Astros

Again, it’s easy.   

Astros vs. Phillies

Home-field advantage: Phillies

The Astros won the AL West and got a bye to the ALDS. They are the two seed in the AL while the Phillies had to play in the Wild Card Series and were the four seed in the NL. Still, the Phillies went into Houston and won two out of three from the Astros April 28-30. That was the extent of the head-to-head action here. The Phillies won the season series, 2-1. They’d host this rematch. 

Phillies vs. Rangers

Home-field advantage: Rangers

Going back even further, do you remember the opening series? The Phillies went into Texas and had a 5-0 lead in the middle of the fourth inning on Opening Day. Then the Rangers hung nine runs on the Phillies in the fourth inning and ended up winning. In fact, the Rangers swept the Phillies. That was the only time these two teams squared off all season, so the Rangers won the season series and have the tiebreaker. 

The Rangers were the five seed in the AL and had to play four road playoff games before coming home. They are the road team in the ALCS, too, but if they advance to the World Series, they’ll have home-field advantage. 

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