World Series 2011: Home Teams On Great Game 7 Run

ST LOUIS, MO: Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a game-tying RBI single to score Jon Jay #19 in the 10th inning during Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals won 10-9 in 11 innings. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

As if the Cardinals didn't already have momentum going for them, and the home field in Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, there's also this:

Home teams have won eight straight Game 7s. Last road team to win was 1979 Pirates, and typing that made me throw up in my mouth.
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

I'm not sure why that made Justice throw up in his mouth, except I think he was covering the Orioles as a beat writer in the late 1970s for The Washington Post.

But are road teams at a real disadvantage in Games 7, generally?

I checked. What's happened since 1979 is anomalous. There have been 35 winner-take-all contests in the history of best-of-seven World Series, and home teams are 18-17. There has been absolutely zero advantage.

Now, you might think that something fundamental about Games 7 has changed since 1979 and you might be right ... but then you sort of need to come up with what that might actually be. And I can't really think of anything.

I think it's just a statistical fluke. Home teams won eight straight from 1982 through 2002. Visiting teams won nine of eleven from 1952 through 1968.

What's also anomalous is that we've not seen a Game 7 since 2002. That's easily the longest gap in World Series history. There weren't any winner-take-all Games 7 between 1912 and 1924, but the World Series was best-of-nine from 1919 through 1921; only the '21 Series would have gone the distance in a best-of-seven series.

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