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.
|Team||Win %||2019 Wins||2020 Wins|
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:
|July 24-26||Kansas City||3|
|July 27-29||Chicago White Sox||3|
|July 30-Aug 2||@Minnesota||4|
|Aug 7-9||@Chicago White Sox||3|
|Aug 11-12||Chicago Cubs||2|
|Aug 28-30||@St. Louis||3|
|Aug 31-Sep 2||@Kansas City||3|
|Sep 7-10||Kansas City||4|
|Sep 15-16||@Chicago Cubs||2|
|Sep 21-24||Chicago White Sox||4|