As a concession to the awarding of the All-Star Game to a National League city for three consecutive seasons -- Cincinnati in 2015, San Diego in '16 and Miami in '17 -- the American League will bat in the bottom of the innings in '16, a home-field advantage on the road.
The host cities won't be alternated by league, but with the home-field advantage in the World Series tied to which league wins the All-Star Game, the adjustment was made to avoid the appearance of giving the NL an advantage.
Does having the home-field advantage matter in the Fall Classic? It has of late.
Since the All-Star Game began to be used to determine the home-field advantage in 2003, the winner of the Midsummer Classic has won eight of 12 World Series championships.
Overall, the team with the home-field advantage has won 59 of the 110 World Series, which began in 1903 but was not played in '04 and '94.
The advantage, however, has become more pronounced with the expansion of the postseason.
• The home-field-advantage team was 30-35 (.462) prior to the expansion of the postseason in 1969.
• Since the addition of the League Championship Series in 1969 as a best-of-five matchup between the East and West division champions in the American League and National League, the home team has gone 29-16 (.644) in the World Series.
• The home-field advantage in the Fall Classic has been even more pronounced (23-6, .793) since 1985, when the LCS expanded from five to seven games.
• And since 1995, when a Division Series was added in each league, the team with the home-field advantage has gone 15-5 (.750) in the World Series.
Throw the records out the window
The home-field advantage has a bigger impact on predicting the World Series winner than does the record of the two teams competing -- although that has changed with the expansion of the postseason, as well.
• The team with the best regular-season record among the World Series participants has won 53 of the 110 World Series since 1903. There have been five World Series in which both teams had the same regular-season records.
• Prior to the first expansion of the postseason in 1969, the team with the best regular-season record was 33-28. There were four World Series in which the teams had the same regular-season records. Since '69, the team with the best regular season record has gone 20-24, and in 2013 the Red Sox and Cardinals were both 97-65 in the regular season.
• The team with the best regular-season record has gone 11-17 in the World Series since the expansion of the LCS to a best-of-seven in 1985, and 8-11 since the addition of the LDS in '95.
Going the distance
The Fall Classic has had a best-of-seven series go the distance 38 times, with the home-field advantage increasing dramatically since the expansion of the postseason.
• All-time, the team with the home-field advantage has gone 21-17 (.533) in a decisive seventh game.
• The home team has gone 10-5 (.667) in Game 7s of the Fall Classic since 1969, 8-1 (.889) since '85 and 4-1 (.800) since '95. The 2014 Giants won Game 7 in Kansas City to snap a streak of nine consecutive wins for the home team that dated back to 1982, when the Cardinals beat the Brewers in Milwaukee.
The home-field impact doesn't require a World Series to go seven games. The team with the home-field advantage also plays the first two games at home. Opening a World Series at home would seem to give a team a chance to settle in quicker than the road team.
The club with the home-field advantage has won 14 of the 21 sweeps in World Series history, including eight of nine since 1969, seven of eight since '85, and all five since '95.
Minimal designated difference
The designated hitter has not had a big impact on the World Series. The DH was adopted in even number years in the World Series, beginning in 1974. And in '86, it became an annual part of the World Series. The AL, which uses the DH in the regular season, has only a 17-16 edge in World Series in which a DH was used, and the NL has won four of the past five.
NL teams won three of the five World Series when the DH was used in even years only -- the Reds in 1976, Phillies in '80 and Cardinals in '82. The Yankees won in '78 and the Tigers in '84.
NL designated hitters have hit .248 in the World Series with a .702 OPS compared to AL DHs who have hit .243 with a .741 OPS.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.