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 crew, unfold from spring to fall, with a short pause for the All-Star break, and October, as at all times, the objective.
No longer is every crew’s slate considerably skewed towards division opponents. Instead, the schedules will characteristic extra selection. For the primary time in trendy MLB historical past, each crew will play each different crew sooner or later.
This altered schedule construction may have vital results on the postseason and the product. So let’s dive into the specifics of this schedule change by answering questions you may 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 vital 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 crew from a weak division has over a crew from a deep division within the Wild Card race.
But there’s additionally leisure worth to having all groups face one another no less than as soon as, versus loading up the schedule with division matchups. That means 29 fan bases getting to look at 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 actually “balanced”?
Not within the strictest sense, no. Teams will nonetheless play extra collection in opposition to 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 crew play in opposition to division opponents?
Each crew will play 52 video games in opposition to division opponents, decreased from 76 underneath the earlier schedule construction.
This will embrace 13 video games (throughout 4 complete collection) in opposition to every division opponent, decreased from 19 (throughout six collection). That’s seven dwelling video games and 6 away video games (or vice versa) in opposition to every opponent for a complete of 26 dwelling video games and 26 away video games.
How many video games will every crew play in opposition to non-division league opponents?
Each crew will play 64 intraleague video games (32 dwelling video games and 32 away video games), decreased from 66.
Teams will play six video games in opposition to six league opponents and 7 video games in opposition to 4 different league opponents. This is the reverse of the earlier format, through which groups performed six video games in opposition to 4 league opponents and 7 in opposition to six league opponents.
How many Interleague video games will every crew play?
This is the largest change, with 46 complete Interleague video games for every crew (AL vs. NL and vice versa), a rise from 20.
Teams will play a home-and-home collection (4 video games complete) in opposition to their pure Interleague rivals (Yankees vs. Mets, Dodgers vs. Angels, Cubs vs. White Sox, and so on.) and one other 42 video games in opposition to different Interleague opponents, together with seven collection (21 video games) at dwelling and 7 collection (21 video games) on the street.
How lengthy was the schedule “unbalanced”?
The unbalanced schedule we’re acquainted with at present was first launched in 2001. That 12 months, groups started enjoying wherever from 16 to twenty video games in opposition to every division rival. Prior to that, the AL had performed underneath a extra balanced schedule since its 1977 enlargement from 12 to 14 groups, whereas the NL had performed underneath a extra balanced schedule since its 1993 enlargement from 12 to 14 groups.
Interleague Play, nevertheless, had by no means been balanced the way in which it will likely be with the 2023 schedule.
What impression will the balanced schedule have?
Though the journey might be fairly a bit completely different underneath the extra balanced schedule and rescheduling postponements in opposition to non-division opponents may be tougher, this association ought to be a fairer one when it comes to settling each division and Wild Card races. As a results of the adjusted schedule, groups throughout the identical division and throughout the identical league may have extra frequent opponents.
The new schedule may additionally impression how entrance places of work method roster building. With fewer division video games, there may be much less emphasis on acquisitions focused particularly due to how they match up with specific division rivals or how they play particularly ballparks throughout the division.
What are another notable facets of the 2023 schedule?