This year’s major league is different. Beyond the new season, we introduce a new baseball. The pitch clock, which has not been there before, is introduced, and the defensive shifts that have been there are limited. It is also worth noting that the size of the base increases.
Among the new elements that directly intervene in the game, there are also elements that indirectly affect the game. It is the ‘schedule’ that changes drastically for each team. It is expected that the league will fluctuate as the schedule changes significantly compared to the previous one.
It was in 1961 that a major league season was settled at 162 games. The American League, which became 10 teams with the founding of the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels, first played 162 games. The following year, the New York Mets and the Houston Colt 45s (Astros) were created in the National League, and the 162 game system of 10 teams began. Later, in 1969, in line with the 100th anniversary of the first professional team, two more teams were added to each league, establishing the so-called ‘division era’. Both leagues were divided into East Division and West Division, each consisting of six teams.
Teams from the same district during this time met 18 games in a season. Including this, they had 12 games each with 6 teams from different districts, and made a schedule of 162 games, 90 games in the same district and 72 games in other districts.
In 1994, the major leagues were reorganized once again. Following the East and West, the Central District was created. There was a transition period caused by the player strike, but as the league expanded, the foundation was laid. And in 1997, the interleague where the two leagues collide in the regular season was introduced, and in 1998, with the birth of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Race), 30 teams were completed. At that time, there were about 12 matches between teams from the same district.
In 2013, the major leagues were all aligned with five teams as Houston moved to the American League West division. Then, the number of head-to-head matches between teams belonging to the same district increased to 19. Teams from the same district faced each other in 76 games, or 46.9% of the total 162 games.
The advantages and disadvantages became clearer as more games were played in the district. You could often see tight rivalries like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants in the same district. Regardless of the ranking, they created a strange tension and produced a great game. Just as the taste of knowing and eating is scary, even knowing and watching the game was exciting.
The problem is that as the proportion of the intra-district economy increases, the level within the district stands out. Fierce earth was always fierce, and loose earth was always loose. It was unavoidable because the market size was different for each district, but as this phenomenon intensified, there were teams that benefited and teams that suffered disadvantages. Questions have been raised about whether such differentiated competition is fair.
Even last year, there was an unfortunate team. The Eastern Division of the American League is considered one of the major leagues’ most competitive battlegrounds. With traditional famous houses, emerging powerhouses, and even dark horses, there were frequent cases of shrimp backs bursting in whale fights. Last year, in the American League Eastern Division, where four teams with a win rate of 50% were concentrated, the Baltimore Orioles ranked fourth with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses. On the other hand, the Cleveland Guardians, which belonged to the American League Central District, which had relatively low competitiveness, ranked first in the district with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses.
On the face of it, Cleveland’s performance is superior to Baltimore’s. However, when looking at the results of 86 games against teams outside the district, the two teams have a different position. Cleveland is 45-41 (.523 win rate) and Baltimore is 49-37 (.570 win rate). This can be inferred that Baltimore would have had a better chance of advancing to the postseason had it not been for the American League East Division. In fact, last year’s American League Eastern Division had the highest overall win rate among the six divisions. The upward leveling of the American League Eastern Division, where fierce battles take place every year, is not just yesterday or today.
0.541 – AL East
0.522 – NL West
0.510 – NL East
0.490 – AL West
0.472 – AL Central
0.465 – NL Central
The Secretariat sought equitable measures to alleviate this imbalance. As the number of teams in the postseason increased to 12 and the wild card series was added, I thought that the regular season should be more competitive. As the schedule reflecting this will comes out, everyone is setting their senses.
First of all, starting this year, the number of matches against teams from the same district will be reduced. It became 52 matches from the previous 76 matches. The team has only two series each, home and away, as the number of head-to-head matches has been reduced from 19 to 13. As a result, even if it is the same Earth, it is difficult to see it as before. For example, the first series between the Yankees and Boston this year will not be held until mid-June.
The number of matches against teams in the same league, excluding the same district, also increased from 66 to 64. Of the 10 teams, 6 teams were assigned 6 games, 4 teams and 7 games, respectively.
Instead of matches against teams in the same district and the same league, interleagues competing with other leagues are increasing. It is also the biggest feature of the changed schedule. Interleague has more than doubled from 20 games to 46 games. Interleague, which was close to regular season events, now has a heavy meaning as it can influence the direction of the regular season.
Originally, interleague games were played against one district per season, excluding regional rivalries. For example, the Dodgers faced the Los Angeles Angels every year, but the American League East teams met only once every three years. However, this year, there are no restrictions by region. For example, the Dodgers’ first interleague schedule is the Minnesota Series in mid-May, and after that, they meet Tampa Bay, Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Angels, and Houston in turn. 메이저놀이터
With this system applied, one team will face all 29 other teams this year. No matter who meets in the World Series, the trailer is shown during the regular season. Meanwhile, the secretariat plans to add fun by designating interleague rivalries in consideration of team circumstances as well as regional rivals.
Interleague rivalry due to team circumstances
Boston Red Sox vs Atlanta Braves
Detroit Tigers vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays vs Philadelphia Phillies
Texas Rangers vs Arizona Diamondbacks
Houston Astros vs Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners vs San Diego Padres
The extensively expanded schedule will bring about various changes. will be. Teams belonging to the difficult district could be a little less burdened, and conversely, the teams belonging to the easy district had a little more pressure. Traveling distance increased while crossing the US, and the disadvantages of Seattle, which had always been a problem due to its location, could be overcome to some extent. The fact that there are many away schedules with time differences is also an issue that each team should take note of.
A tour of all stadiums by superstars is also expected. One example is Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, who debuted in 2018, has yet to visit all the stadiums. He has never played at Nationals Spark (Washington) Citi Field (Mets) American Family Field (Milwaukee) PNC Park (Pittsburgh) Wrigley Field (Cubs). But thanks to the rescheduled schedule, he’ll be able to find every ballpark sooner or later (the Angels will travel to Milwaukee and the Mets this year). These topics can be a means of increasing the popularity of baseball.
The world is changing rapidly. To stagnate in the flow is to bring about a crisis. Knowing this fact, the Secretariat is attempting various reforms this year. In a situation where the obvious things are not taken for granted, it remains to be seen which team will show quick adaptability.