MLB: Which Team Will Face Challenges With The New Rules & Format?

Author: Mansi


One of the oldest major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, MLB, postponed its regular season 2020. It was founded in 1903 and while being ready for its 2020 season, the coronavirus struck it out.

On March 16, the MLB’s officials announced that the season 2020 will be postponed indefinitely. MLB had plans to kick the season off on March 26, which would have ended by September 27. The fans were expecting the postseason’s beginning from September 29 while the World Series from October 20 with potential Game 7 to begin from October 28.

While all the schedules have become a dream, the indefinite halt couldn’t reach to an end. Amid the exchange of many proposals, it has been rumored that the scheduling format will be based on a regional system to restrict travel. The system allows a team to play only with the opponent from their division with no spectators at all.

However, the format can lead to great challenges for a few teams. Before discussing it, let’s take a look at what teams will fall under what divisions. 

Here are the 10-team MLB Divisions

Because it will be a regional system, the teams will be grouped into their respective divisions, i.e. East, West, and Central.

The teams in each division are as follows;

East: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rans, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals.

West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers.

Central: Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Which Team Will Face the Most Challenges?

Baltimore Orioles: Orioles didn’t have much greater performance in the last season, they lost 108 games out of 162 with the lowest winning percentage of .333 among the entire East division.

However, if we look upon the other teams in the East division, the opponents have a huge favorable winning data. The fact is undeniable that Baltimore has improved its performance from the 2018 season, but the change is relatively small and hardly makes any improvements to their winning scale. Moreover, they have been consistent with their position (at the bottom of the AL) from the past few years.

The major fallback lies in its starters, which couldn’t draw enough runs from the innings.

Seattle Mariners: Seattle faced 94 losses out of the 162 matches in the last season, they scored the lowest in its division with the least winning percentage i.e. .420. Being in the third position in the 2018 season’s division, Mariners gave up on the fans’ expectations and fell from a remarkable .549 winning percentage.

While we assumed that Mariners gave up on fans' expectations, the question is if it’s even a case or fans gave up on Mariners first. It is more like a chicken and egg story. In a nutshell, Seattle is facing a lack of fans’ support which might be the reason for its failures. 

Another point that pushes it backward is its lack of power hitters.

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers hold the same story, they have a relatively lower winning percentage among its division. Detroit relegated from .395 in the 2018 season to .292 in the 2019 season. They also faced 114 losses out of the 162 matches in its last season and sat at the bottom of its division.

The most prominent ability which is preventing Tigers to have an upper hand on its opponents is its poor list of hitters. The lack of hitters, leaves them facing down on the ground. The number of uncontrollable strikeouts has also led Detroit to its lowest spot.

Chicago White Sox: Sox has also shown relegation in its performance in the duration of the last two seasons. The team is standing at the line of good and bad where one of its weaknesses is its young talent. However, this might be the strength in Chicago’s eyes and controversial to say. 

But Sox defense metrics are a clear indication, in the last season, that they need improvement in that space.

Other teams like Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers can also face challenges with MLB’s new formats but their chances are low as compared to among the four we discussed. However, teams such as Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs may replace the predicted teams.

Also, we can notice a neck-on-neck face-off among Yankees, Washington Nationals, Cleveland, and Boston Red Sox.


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