Since 2003, the winning league of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game earned the right to have its pennant winner get home-field advantage in the World Series. That's no longer the case under the new CBA agreed to on Wednesday night.
In 2002, the city of Milwaukee hosted the All-Star Game and the sides ran out of pitchers so the game was called a 7-7 tie after 11 innings, which embarrassed then-commissioner Bud Selig, who had owned the Brewers and was from that city. So MLB decided to make the All-Star Game count by giving home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning side. The American League won 11 of 14 All-Star Games played under the rule, but the NL representative won eight World Series in those years.
MLB owners and the MLB Players' Association agreed late Wednesday night to a new five-year collective bargaining agreement. There wasn't a whole lot new in there, but eliminating that home-field advantage rule was in there. Now the All-Star Game players are incentivized by playing for a pool of money, and the World Series goes to the pennant winner with the best overall regular-season record. Before Selig's switch, home-field advantage alternated between the AL and NL.
The Cleveland Indians won the 2015 All-Star Game, which gave them home-field advantage in the World Series even though the Chicago Cubs had by far the best record in MLB. It didn't work out for the Tribe as they blew a 3-1 series lead, dropping the final two games at home. In the last two World Series to go seven games, the NL has won on the road, with the Giants also doing so in Kansas City in 2014.
What does this mean from an MLB betting perspective? Certainly keep track down the stretch of the regular season to teams' overall records. It adds some potential late-season drama, whereas previously we knew which league would have home-field advantage in the Fall Classic in mid-July.
The Cubs are currently +375 favorites on 5Dimes MLB odds to repeat as champions.