“You have a chance to add another sense to your scouting report,” he mentioned.
How a lot these slivers of benefit and drawback have an effect on issues can be arduous to quantify; a season of (possibly) 60 video games makes for a meager pattern dimension. But in baseball as in different sports activities, the analytics group has seized on this 12 months as an opportunity to check a phenomenon that traditionally belongs extra to feeling than to knowledge: home-field benefit.
Across M.L.B., 54 % of video games are received by the house group, an edge popularly traced to umpire bias, crowd affect, the easy comforts of residence or some mixture of these. Opportunities to get rid of variables have been scarce, till now.
“We’re about to find out what happens when you do take the crowd out of it,” mentioned Jonathan Judge, an analyst for Baseball Prospectus. “Does the crowd really seem to matter very much, or is it just going home to your family every night?”
Voros McCracken, a pioneering analytics professional who additionally consults for an American League group, mentioned he suspected that home-field benefit in M.L.B. can be lowered this season.
“The players are human beings, and you get more revved up when people are cheering for you,” he mentioned.
He’ll even be keeping track of the pitch-framing statistics from M.L.B.’s Statcast program, which monitor how effectively catchers are in a position to “steal” strikes on pitches exterior of the zone, in addition to stroll and strikeout ranges. “If the home team is getting fewer benefits in the strike zone,” McCracken mentioned, “that tells us something.”
This new knowledge set arrives unhappily, after all. The Marlins outbreak has concentrated the anxiousness lingering across the league, and analysts lower their ideas on in-game specifics with common hopes for security.
“I hope all our fans will look at the mental side of this and how challenging it is for our guys,” Floyd, the previous Marlins outfielder, mentioned. “That should not be lost.”