Home-Field Advantage Looks Big for Braves
- Updated: August 13, 2013
For the Atlanta Braves there truly is no place like home, which is why a home-field advantage will be huge.
The Braves continue to play at an incredible pace at home, sporting a record of 40-17. The friendly confines of Turner Field have certainly been kind to the Braves this season, so home field advantage in the playoffs is certainly a major goal for the team.
The division race, while certainly not over, is under control with a 14 game lead over the Nationals. The team can see the finish line in the division race. If they wrap up the division early, they will certainly have many reasons to stay focused over the final weeks of the season. Home-field advantage in the playoffs would be huge for this team, and they know it.
Several players show significant bumps statistically at home. Freddie Freeman, while certainly the team MVP at this point has hit a scorching .345 at home, with 11 homers and 52 RBI. Chris Johnson likes Turner Field to the tune of .355 at the plate, and Jason Heyward is hitting .284 at home, while hitting only .209 on the road.
While the Braves have struggled at times on the road, they have played better of late and now sit at 32-30 away from Turner Field. Playing on the road is certainly not a daunting task for the Braves, they have showed they can take care of business away from home, sweeping both Washington and Philadelphia during their recent win streak.
The Braves have 43 games remaining. The schedule is a friendly one, as the team has only seven games remaining against teams with a winning record (St. Louis and Cleveland). Meanwhile, the Pirates and Cardinals appear to be heading towards a fight to the finish. That fight could contribute to the Braves winding up with home field, especially if Atlanta takes care of their own business.
Many have speculated as to why the team plays better at home. For one, there is the Waffle House theory. The Braves have only lost twice at home since the Waffle House opened at Turner Field. While waffles, bacon and eggs can certainly not be over looked, I think the team is just more comfortable at home. They are a young team, and sometimes young players just play more relaxed in a comfortable environment. Some of the statistics seem to show that may be the case.
No matter what the reason, let’s hope the team keeps winning and secure the home field advantage for the National League playoffs.
Just to be safe, if you visit Turner Field make sure you head over to the Waffle House and order some hash browns. Scattered, covered and smothered maybe?