An unstoppable force is about to collide with an immovable object.
On the brink of one of the biggest series of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are on a collision course with epic implications.
With identical records of 82-42, both teams are tied for the best record in baseball and the Houston Astros are not far behind at 78-44.
Since the All-Star Break, these three teams have only distanced themselves from the rest of the league as each has been on fire over that time.
Since July 31, the Yankees are an MLB-best 14-3. The Dodgers are not behind with a record of 11-3. Finally, the Astros have won nine out of their last 13 games since the break. Even the red-hot New York Mets can't match those records, going 10-5 over that same span.
Now that the cream has risen to the proverbial top, it's more than likely that one if not two of these three teams will be playing in the World Series at the end of the October.
That means home field advantage in the Fall Classic is on the line, so let's take a look at recent history, and which team has the best chances of finishing with the best record and earning the right to host Game 1 of the World Series in their own stadium.
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Since the turn of the century (2000), the team with home field advantage in the World Series has lifted the Commissioner's Trophy 13 times, and the team that starts the series on the road has won just six times.
That proves that there is a clear edge to the team with home field advantage, especially in the current 2-3-2 format. Recent history suggests that having home field advantage is not imperative as the team that starts at their own stadium has lost three of the last five World Series overall.
In fact, in the game that arguably having home field advantage is the most critical—the winner-take-all Game 7—the away team has won each of the last three decisive games to win the World Series.
However, looking at home field advantage from a larger scope, since 2000, the home team has a record of 65-41 in World Series games overall. That's a .613 winning percentage, proving there is a clear advantage to playing in the Fall Classic in front of your own fans.
For many years, home field advantage was not decided by which team had the best record at the end of the season (as all the other professional sports do), but rather, by which league won the All-Star Game.
That pointless plan to have the Midsummer Classic decide who hosted the first game of the Fall Classic, was finally scrapped in 2017 after 14 years When the Dodgers finished 104-58 wins and hosted the Houston Astros in Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.
So which of the three teams between the Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros has the best shot at home field advantage this season?
Well first and foremost, the upcoming series at Dodger Stadium between the Yankees and Dodgers could be a deciding factor. The teams are set to square off for a three-game series over the weekend, with the winner of the series likely having the best record moving forward.
Next, strength of schedule for the remaining six weeks of the season could play a big role.
According to PowerRankingsGuru.com, the Yankees have the easiest schedule remaining out of the three teams vying for the top spot. The Astros are right behind them, and the Dodgers have the 16th most difficult schedule remaining in all of MLB.
This likely because according to the same website, the Yankees are playing in the easiest division. Yes, the Yankees will have hold off the surging Tampa Bay Rays and reigning Champion Boston Red Sox, but outside of those three teams, the American League East has the meek Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, two of the worst teams in baseball.
The Yankees will not see the Orioles again this season, but they still have six games remaining with the Blue Jays and three with the equally terrible Detroit Tigers.
Both the Astros and Dodgers play in divisions where most of the teams are either slightly above or below average, but likely they will be the only teams from their division to make the postseason.
Houston has four games with the Tigers, three with the Blue Jays, three with the Kansas City Royals, and six games with the last place Seattle Mariners still left on their schedule.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers will face off with mostly N.L. West opponents during the final 36 games remaining on their season, but they do have three games with the Blue Jays, and three with the Orioles of the A.L. East.
All three of these teams are surging heading into September. The Astros have been unstoppable since acquiring Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez and a handful of relievers at the deadline, and both the Yankees and Dodgers have won eight of their last ten games.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are on the heels of a historic power surge that has surpassed even the mighty Yankees who not only broke the MLB record for most homers in a season last year, but broke the record for most consecutive games with a home run this year when they rattled off 31 straight games with a homer in June and July.
Thanks to finishing off a series win over the mediocre Miami Marlins this week, the Dodgers have hit 22 homers in their last five games, surpassing the previous record of 21.
The Dodgers have hit four or more home runs in five consecutive games, extending their MLB record.
National League MVP frontrunner Cody Bellinger is leading the charger with 41 homers, and has hit four of the 22 total team homers over this recent five-game span.
"I guess the numbers don’t lie -- we do hit the ball out of the ballpark," said manager Dave Roberts. "I still stand by the fact our bat quality is as good as there is in the big leagues."
The longball will certainly come into play down the stretch, but the team that is able to win the games their supposed to win, keep their foot on the gas, and avoid in slumps, will likely be the team that wins the Supporters Shield (to use a Soccer term) and earn the right to host Game 1 of the World Series, provided they advance that far.