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Home Field Advantage

Listened to an interesting interview from an author that penned a book (8 or so years ago) that concluded for all sports there is a home field advantage but not from the oft mentioned “sleeping in own bed”, players more comfortable in their home environment, no need to travel, etc. He had stats on player performance that supported (on a large sample size basis) minimal difference home v road.

His conclusion was that it was based on the fans and a sub-conscious impact on how the umpires / referees call games (not intentionally). He sited in basketball the block v charge call went the home teams’ favor by a 4 to 1 margin. In baseball, since replay, the overturned calls where clear in favor of the visitor suggesting the home team more often got the benefit of the original call.

If you were paying attention to the resumed Bundesliga matches ... now without fans ... the visitor teams are winning substantially more and the stats seem to show the measurable aspects of player performance show no change for when fans where around.

Simply, fans don’t really impact player performance but do impact the referee’s calls. So, could argue that games without fans (essentially a neutral site) is a fairer test of player skills.

So, if MLB plays without fans ... is that an advantage for team with historically low attendance / lay back fans (no home advantage). Little changes there but on the road against high attendance / highly motivated fans they may be gaining an advantage? Not good for the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs ... good for A’s, TB?

Should that info modify the betting line in 2020? Does make a stronger case for robo umps for balls and strikes ... if you want a fair game or if you have a betting interest.