Last night in the 86th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, the American League All-Stars topped their counterparts in the National League by a final score of 6-3. It was the third straight season the AL has bettered the senior circuit in the mid-summer classic, and they are now 15-3-1 against the NL in the last 19 All-Star Games.
Los Angeles Angels superstar center fielder Mike Trout was named the MVP of the All-Star Game for the second straight season, going 1-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored, and a walk.
The Detroit Tigers representatives showed up and did not disappoint. Starting pitcher David Price was the third pitcher used for the American League, pitching a scoreless fourth. He struck out sluggers Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt, and also got Buster Posey to line out for a 1-2-3 4th inning. Price was credited with the win, which makes it the second year in a row that a Tigers pitcher is credited with the W in the mid-summer classic (Max Scherzer in 2014).
Shortstop Jose Iglesias and right fielder J.D. Martinez did not produce at the plate in their limited chances, but were active in the field. Martinez recorded a few fly ball outs in right field, and Iglesias made another fine defensive play late in the game.
So the American League wins yet again. Since 2005 when the game was at our friendly confines of Comerica Park, Major League Baseball has made this All-Star Game actually mean something. The winning side earns home-field advantage for the World Series. How beneficial has the home-field advantage been for the last decade?
Here are some fun facts since the game began to count for something in 2005:
- The winning league in the All-Star Game is 7-3 in the World Series (’06 Tigers, ’08 Rays, ’14 Royals are the three losses)
- Teams with home-field advantage in the World Series are 19-7 in their home games of the series.
- Six of the last ten World Series winners were undefeated at home in the series (’05 White Sox, ’06 Cardinals, ’07 Red Sox, ’08 Phillies, ’10 Giants, ’12 Giants)
- Teams with home-field advantage in the World Series between 2005-’09 won their home games by an average of 3.25 runs/game; teams between ’10-’14 won by an average of 4.82 runs/game
Home field is a pretty big deal in baseball. It gives the players something to play for, gives the managers and coaches some things to actually consider coaching for, and because the game actually has a purpose, the voting for the All-Stars should be left to the people who play and manage the game, not the spectators.