2020 schedule to be released today

And now, back to baseball.

At 6 PM today, MLB will be releasing the new 2020 schedule. This year especially, the schedule will be crucial because there will be so few games and also because games played earlier in the season are not going to be played with teams at full strength (especially pitchers). The season will begin for most teams on July 24, which is less than 3 weeks away.

To limit travel, all 60 games will be played within the geographical region of the team. For instance, the Indians will only play the other teams in the AL Central and all the teams in the NL Central. 40 of the games will be against the other 4 AL teams (10 games against each) and 20 against the NL Central teams, 6 of which will be against the Reds Pirates, leaving 14 to be divided among the other 4 teams (likely 2 teams @ 3 games and 2 teams @ 4 games).

That imbalance in the NL portion of the schedule could prove to be crucial if there are any major disparities between, for instance, the Reds and Brewers, or the Reds and Cubs. Most MLB teams end up winning between 40% and 60% of their games, as opposed to most other leagues. But because MLB’s regular season is so long, even a couple % points in winning percentage will turn into a several game difference by the time September rolls around. But not this year.

To give an example, last year the Minnesota Twins won the AL Central by 8 games, with a .049 difference in winning percentage. If those two teams end up with the same winning percentage this year, the Twins would win the division by just 3 games (37 wins vs. 34). So I would anticipate most divisions not being clinched until the last series of the season.

TeamWin %2019 Wins2020 Wins
Minnesota.62310137
Cleveland.5749334
Chicago.4477227

I’ll update this post once the schedules are released.

UPDATE: Well, I was wrong. The Indians will not be playing the Reds 6 times, but instead will play the Pirates(!) 6 times (they play the Reds 4 times). That’s a nice advantage for the Indians. Here’s the complete schedule:

DatesOpponentGames
July 24-26Kansas City3
July 27-29Chicago White Sox3
July 30-Aug 2@Minnesota4
Aug 3-4@Cincinnati2
Aug 5-6Cincinnati2
Aug 7-9@Chicago White Sox3
Aug 11-12Chicago Cubs2
Aug 14-16@Detroit3
Aug 18-20@Pittsburgh3
Aug 21-23Detroit3
Aug 24-26Minnesota3
Aug 28-30@St. Louis3
Aug 31-Sep 2@Kansas City3
Sep 4-6Milwaukee3
Sep 7-10Kansas City4
Sep 11-13@Minnesota3
Sep 15-16@Chicago Cubs2
Sep 17-20@Detroit4
Sep 21-24Chicago White Sox4
Sep 25-27Pittsburgh3

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