The term home field advantage is way overused right now in Major League Baseball. It doesn’t matter to most teams anyway as evidenced by their records. It does of course seem to matter to the Atlanta Braves or it did for most of the season but that will not factor in during the first round of the playoffs. When it comes to the outcome of the smaller best of five NLDS, the Braves will have home field. The best of seven NLCS is long enough that home field really doesn’t matter.
For whatever reason the idea of winning home field advantage has picked up some media attention in the last little while. It matters to some degree obviously to be able to have the bragging rights of being the best team during the regular season but really none of that matters come playoff time. The worst team on the road all season among division leaders, the Braves could very well not lose more than one or two games on the road the entire postseason.
If we believe that it matters more than a little bit then it is a good thing they have it anyway in the division series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the idea that it is worst to face the Dodgers than either of the possible wildcard teams, I completely disagree as do the numbers. The Braves have a better record against the Dodgers than anyone else in the postseason at 5 – 2.
Even though the Dodgers are probably better than they were the last time the Braves faced them, they struggled through the final month of the season just exactly as much as the Braves did. Both teams have good pitching and opportunistic line-ups that can go through dry spells. It will be a good series but the Braves should feel just fine with having to face the Dodgers in Atlanta on Thursday in game one of the NLDS.