The 2023 schedule launched by Major League Baseball on Wednesday would possibly look the identical in some methods. There are nonetheless 162 video games per staff, unfold from spring to fall, with a short pause for the All-Star break, and October, as all the time, the purpose.
No longer is every staff’s slate considerably skewed towards division opponents. Instead, the schedules will characteristic extra selection. For the primary time in trendy MLB historical past, each staff will play each different staff sooner or later.
This altered schedule construction could have vital results on the postseason and the product. So let’s dive into the specifics of this schedule change by answering questions you might need about it.
Why has MLB moved to a balanced schedule?
With the postseason format having already been expanded in 2022 to incorporate three Wild Card spots in every league, it’s extra essential for groups throughout every league to play extra comparable schedules. All wins and losses are counted the identical, so a extra balanced schedule conceivably limits the benefit a staff from a weak division has over a staff from a deep division within the Wild Card race.
But there’s additionally leisure worth to having all groups face one another at the very least as soon as, versus loading up the schedule with division matchups. That means 29 fan bases getting to observe their golf equipment face Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Mookie Betts and the opposite nice stars of the game.
“This new format creates more consistent opponent matchups as Clubs compete for Postseason berths,” MLB chief operations and technique officer Chris Marinak stated in a launch, “particularly in the recently expanded Wild Card round. Additionally, this fan-friendly format provides fans with the opportunity to see more opponent matchups, with a particular focus on dramatically expanding our most exciting Interleague matchups, and offers more national exposure to the star players throughout our game.”
Is the 2023 schedule really “balanced”?
Not within the strictest sense, no. Teams will nonetheless play extra sequence towards particular person division opponents than any particular person opponent from one other division. But the schedule is nowhere close to as weighted towards division play because it was beforehand.
How many video games will every staff play towards division opponents?
Each staff will play 52 video games towards division opponents, decreased from 76 underneath the earlier schedule construction.
This will embody 13 video games (throughout 4 complete sequence) towards every division opponent, decreased from 19 (throughout six sequence). That’s seven dwelling video games and 6 away video games (or vice versa) towards every opponent for a complete of 26 dwelling video games and 26 away video games.
How many video games will every staff play towards non-division league opponents?
Each staff will play 64 intraleague video games (32 dwelling video games and 32 away video games), decreased from 66.
Teams will play six video games towards six league opponents and 7 video games towards 4 different league opponents. This is the reverse of the earlier format, wherein groups performed six video games towards 4 league opponents and 7 towards six league opponents.
How many Interleague video games will every staff play?
This is the most important change, with 46 complete Interleague video games for every staff (AL vs. NL and vice versa), a rise from 20.
Teams will play a home-and-home sequence (4 video games complete) towards their pure Interleague rivals (Yankees vs. Mets, Dodgers vs. Angels, Cubs vs. White Sox, and so on.) and one other 42 video games towards different Interleague opponents, together with seven sequence (21 video games) at dwelling and 7 sequence (21 video games) on the street.
How lengthy was the schedule “unbalanced”?
The unbalanced schedule we’re acquainted with at this time was first launched in 2001. That yr, groups started enjoying anyplace from 16 to twenty video games towards every division rival. Prior to that, the AL had performed underneath a extra balanced schedule since its 1977 growth from 12 to 14 groups, whereas the NL had performed underneath a extra balanced schedule since its 1993 growth from 12 to 14 groups.
Interleague Play, nevertheless, had by no means been balanced the way in which will probably be with the 2023 schedule.
What influence will the balanced schedule have?
Though the journey will probably be fairly a bit completely different underneath the extra balanced schedule and rescheduling postponements towards non-division opponents might be more difficult, this association needs to be a fairer one by way of settling each division and Wild Card races. As a results of the adjusted schedule, groups inside the identical division and inside the identical league could have extra widespread opponents.
The new schedule might additionally influence how entrance workplaces strategy roster building. With fewer division video games, there could be much less emphasis on acquisitions focused particularly due to how they match up with explicit division rivals or how they play specifically ballparks inside the division.
What are another notable points of the 2023 schedule?