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A baseball fan’s proposal for the 2020 MLB regular season and playoff schedule

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It COULD work this way...

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers
Part-time DH?
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

As a former staffer and frequent commenter on Brew Crew Ball, I know that not everyone is active in the comments section on our wonderful site. So for those unfamiliar, this post is a rehash, expansion, and summary of several comments I made recently on one of our threads of conversation. I’ve been wondering how MLB will work out the schedule and postseason with their proposed July opening of the season.

Here are some basic assumptions that I’ve made:

  • The teams will be divided into three ten-team divisions, with the NL East/AL East as one, NL Central/AL Central as a second, and the NL West/AL West the third.
  • Each team will play the others in their division nine times. This will necessitate a 5/4 split for home and road games, with half of the teams getting an extra home game in an 81 game schedule.
  • The playoffs will include 14 teams; the top four in each division and then the two teams with the next-best records. If more than two teams have that next best record, the participants will be selected by lot. They (most likely) won’t have played each other, and I don’t have time in my schedule for play-in games.
  • Teams will have 30-man rosters.
  • The DH will be available to all teams in all games.

Regular Season:

The season would begin Friday, July 2nd. All teams would play a three game set over the weekend, with a ton of baseball on Sunday the 4th. That’d be cool.

The basic schedule template would be much easier than the current schedule, as all games would be within the ten-team division. After that first weekend, all teams would have thirteen more weeks that would consist of eight six game weeks consisting of two three game sets, three six game weeks consisting of three two game sets, and two five game weeks consisting of a three game set and a two game set. The extra off day could come on Tuesday or Thursday.

Most teams would have every Monday off, with the exception of four series that would start on Monday to provide some national broadcasts. Those would consist of two early games (6 pm) and two late games (9:30); TV and MLB can work out the details. Those teams would receive a different day off that week; perhaps Tuesday or Thursday.

Rainouts would be an issue with a tight schedule. There are plenty of off days to go to, but I’d prefer double headers ASAP. Those 30-man rosters have to be good for something.

Postseason:

Those 14 teams mentioned above would be divided thusly:

  • The teams with the two best records would be designated teams 1 and 2 (duh).
  • The rest of the teams would be ranked 3-14. All ties by record would be ranked according to lot, as we won’t have any direct competition to seperate them (unless they are in the same division; if so, too bad for the better team if they lose the draw).
  • Teams 1 and 2 would receive a first round bye. Team 1 would play the winner of an 8-9 series; the other teams in the upper portion of the bracket would be 6 vs 11 and 4 vs 13. Team 2 would get the winner of the 7-10 matchup, and the other games in the lower half would be 5-12 and 3-14.
  • The first two rounds of the play-offs would be five game sets, the final two would be seven game sets. Higher seeded teams would be given the home-field advantage.

This would take us into early November. It could be shorter if series’ end more quickly, but you know there’s always going to be some stragglers. I’d be tempted to run the first round of the series’ for five straight days, with double headers to make up for rainouts. I’d be nice and give the winners an off day before the next round. A scheduled travel day for round two, and two scheduled travel days for rounds three and four.

Hmm...I wonder what I’ve missed or messed up. If only we had a comments section so that I could be corrected!

Stay well, and try to enjoy the DH!