Home-field (dis)advantage

Posted June 15, 2012


Home-field (dis)advantage

What happened to home-field advantage in the Powerline Baseball League?

It may be one of the underlying causes behind the jam-packed standings two-thirds through the 2012 Powerline Baseball League campaign, but there is no such thing as home-field advantage so far this season.

Home teams now have a 10-19 record after all three went winless Thursday night. Since home-and-away records started being recorded and kept, no season has seen the road teams have a better record by season’s end.

  • 2012 to date: 10-19
  • 2011: 26-19
  • 2010: 24-20-1
  • 2009: 27-18-1
  • 2008: 24-19
  • 2007: 18-12
  • 2006: 15-13-1
  • 2005: 23-22-2
  • 2004: 39-22-2
Why the difference in 2012?
 
It’s hard to say. Some would say the pitching has fallen off. Some would say a changing of the guard in the umpires and some of the heavy throwing all-stars of past PBL seasons.
 
Some of it’s dumb luck. Some of it’s the distractions of the field and managing the team to start the game in the field. Another is the amount of home-and-home series we’ve seen through the first half of the season. It’s tough to sweep those.
 
I would imagine the trend could be bucked in the final stretch of the season as the races heat up and home pitchers and teams find their groove. The parity of the league helps with a topsy turvy May and June so far. As June comes to an end, the races could be impacted greatly by this new phenomenon.
 
In year’s past, the Leduc Milleteers were almost untouchable at home. Same with the former Armena Axemen dynasty. Now, not so much. As teams like Holden, Armena and Camrose have matured, they’ve become harder to beat now that some of the players have established relationships with the umpires and fellow opponents.
 
It’s hard to imagine road teams going 9 games below .500 to end the season now. If this trend continues, we may be looking at home-away schedules a little closer in the final few games. 
 
But as we all know, once playoffs and playoff races come down to the wire, last bat seems to make the difference most nights. We’re not likely to see anyone wanting to give away their two home games in a playoff series… yet.
 
Posted on June 15, 2012 by Jason Buzzell
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