All those wins add up: Under new rule, Dodgers host Game 7
By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — All you fans who hated the rule that linked the All-Star Game to home-field advantage in the World Series, guess what?
This is your year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to host the Houston Astros in Game 7 on Wednesday night, thanks to a change that went into effect this season.
Now, teams earn the right: Los Angeles posted the most wins in the majors, so the all-or-nothing matchup is at Dodger Stadium.
“The home-field advantage, having the last at-bat, it’s definitely huge. Especially in this Series, you see how many times it’s gone back and forth, so to be able to have that last at-bat is huge,” Dodgers star Justin Turner said.
No more giving home field to the league that wins the All-Star Game. This summer, in fact, the AL won 2-1 at Miami on Robinson Cano’s home run in the 10th inning — under the old rules, this Game 7 would’ve been at Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros.
It was a concept that drove many fans crazy. Any method would be better, they argued — alternating sites like the old days, best interleague record, coin flip, anything.
But that’s the way it had been since a 2002 fiasco in Milwaukee when the AL and NL both ran out of pitchers after 11 innings and the game was declared a 7-7 tie.
In that span, the American League went 11-3 in All-Star play. The edge and the ability to use the designated hitter helped a little, maybe — of those 11 times they had home field, AL clubs won six titles.
Before this season, that provision was scrapped. As part of the new labor deal between owners and players, World Series home field goes to the team that wins the most games in the regular season.
The Dodgers won 104, including a major league-high 57 at home, and those victories added up to a final game at their place. Houston won 101, and matched Cleveland for the most road wins with 53.
“We feed off the crowd, for sure. Especially at home,” Los Angeles leadoff man Chris Taylor said. “We feel we have a huge home-field advantage.”