The owners want to play fewer games, since the more games without fans the more their losses would be. The players want to play more games since they would make more money. The current deal on the table from the owners is to play 50-60 games. This is in response to the players’ proposal of 114 games. We’ve also heard some proposals somewhere in the middle, around 82 games.
Unfortunately, that momentum did not last long.
I have heard greater pessismism today from folks on both sides about MLB launching a season than at any point. People who previously thought the sides would find a way, now expressing at least greater doubt (often more than that).
Here’s how the Yankees would have fared the past few seasons with these different scenarios.
Let’s take a look at where the Yankees would be in the past few seasons at these different points.
30-20 (1st in AL East, up 2.0 games)
37-23 (1st in AL East, up 4.0 games)
44-38 (2nd in AL East, 4.0 games back)
61-53 (2nd in AL East, 3.5 games back)
33-17 (2nd in AL East, 1.5 games back)
41-19 (tied for 1st in AL East)
54-28 (2nd in AL East, 1.0 game behind)
72-42 (2nd in AL East, 8.0 games behind)
33-17 (1st in AL East, up 3.0 games)
38-22 (1st in AL East, up 1.5 games)
54-28 (1st in AL East, up 7.0 games)
75-39 (1st in AL East, up 10.0 games)
Would this have changed any of their playoff matchups? If we end the season on the dates the above game milestones were reached (other teams may not have played exactly the same number of games, here’s how the first playoff matchups would have played out:
Let’s start with 2017. We would have played the Twins in three of the four scenarios. However, the first two would have been as division winners, while the last would have been in the Wild Card, which ended up being the actual matchup. And yes, the Royals weren’t that bad in 2017, finishing with an 80-82 record, 5.0 games out of a Wild Card spot.
In 2018, the surprising result is that had the season been 82 games (or 50 games), the Mariners would have been a playoff team. Also, imaging the 60-game scenario: having the best record in the AL only to play the winner between the Astros and the Red Sox. Those teams went on to win 103 and 108 games, respectively.
In 2019, we actually had the best record in the AL at the 82 and 114 game marks. And at the 82-game mark, the Rangers would have been a Wild Card team, despite ending up 78-84 and 18.0 games back in the Wild Card at the end of the season.
All in all, it’s nice to see a good amount of “Twins” in that table. While the Yankees were a playoff team in every scenario the past three years, it just goes to show that anything can happen in a shortened season, with teams like the Royals, Mariners, and Rangers sneaking in.