Dodgers not convinced home-field advantage makes a difference
As their records match up right now, the New York Mets will have home-field advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, which wouldn’t seem to the faze the Dodgers much if it became a reality.
"I don’t buy into any of that stuff," first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said of home-field advantage." You play the games and you win some, you lose some. You can’t say, ‘Oh, we won because of this.’"
The main argument supporting the influence of home-field advantage is the potential impact a crowd can have on a team to either build it up or break it down.
Gonzalez doesn’t subscribe to that theory in the slightest.
"We don’t pay attention to the crowds," he said. "Come on now. We like it when our crowds cheer for us at home, but it isn’t going to affect us one way or another."
While the Dodgers aren’t particularly concerned with the location of their games, having home-field advantage certainly can’t hurt, and despite Gonzalez’s sentiments, some players tend to feed off the energy of a raucous postseason atmosphere.
"We’re going to play. I don’t really plan on backing off as far as throwing any old lineup out there and just letting it go," Mattingly said of his approach to the Dodgers’ remaining regular-season games.
Meanwhile, the Mets, who clinched the NL East on Saturday, have made it a priority to notch home-field advantage for their first postseason series since 2006.
"We’re going to play to win as many games as we can and to try to get home-field advantage in the first round," manager Terry Collins recently said. "I think it’s very, very important to have that. I think it’s something to shoot for. I think when you’re still playing for something, it prepares you better."
With both teams losing on Wednesday, the Dodgers (88-70) trail the Mets (89-69) by two games for home-field advantage, as a tie between the two would grant the Mets home-field advantage because they own the head-to-head record between them this season.
Regardless if Games 1 and 2 a potential Game 5 are played at Citi Field instead of Dodger Stadium, don’t expect the Dodgers to flounder because their home stadium is on the other side of the country.
"At the end of the day, it’s still the same game we played the entire season," veteran second baseman Chase Utley said. "Obviously, it’s more magnified and the fans are a bit more vocal, but you’ve got to try to do your best to try to stay within yourself."