Is a 60 Game MLB Season Credible?

Last week MLB commissioner Rob Manfred imposed a 60 game season after the owners and players could not come to an agreement. After the initial relief that there would in fact be baseball in 2020, questions were raised.

The main talking point was: Is a 60 game season credible?

60 games is not even half of the regular amount of 162 games in a normal MLB season. In reality it is just two months of baseball. But is that enough time for the elite teams to rise to the top, and to weed out the weak teams? Let’s analyze.

2019 MLB Season Analysis

If we use the 2019 MLB season for analysis, the results are mixed.

When you look at the American League through 60 games, the results are positive. The New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins all we’re atop their divisions through 60 games and through 162. The true elite teams separated themselves rather quickly in the A.L. 

However the Wild Card wouldn’t remain perfect. With the Texas Rangers snagging the 2nd wild card spot, instead of the Oakland Athletics, we see a small hit to the credibility. But were talking about a 2nd place wild card team. Even through 162 games there is rarely a large margin separating the final wild card and the team who just misses. 

The true shake up is seen in the National League.

The defending champion Washington Nationals don’t even make the playoffs when based on the first 60 games of the 2019 season. They started out dreadful, and in a short season of 60 games, it is fateful. 

But the Nationals missing out of October baseball isn’t the only hit a 60 game season takes. The Phillies and Cubs, two teams who missed the playoffs, win their divisions.

Things like that will happen when you play the long game. Longevity and durability are vital to a successful baseball season. The shortened season will dismiss those theories slightly. 


Critics of the imposed 60 game season will use that as fuel to discredit this season. But when you look at the history of the sport, and all sports for that matter, 40% of the season is a good representative of the teams that are playoff worthy. 

Excluding the rare Cinderella stories, 60 games gives us a fair understanding of the elite teams and the bad teams. The teams on the verge will claim it is unfair, but everyone is playing under the same format so bite your tongue.

With teams knowing this season will be a sprint and not the usual marathon, expect the strategies to be different. Star players won’t get the usual rest days. Expect the 4th outfielder and back up catcher to play in limited games. The bullpen load will be heavy with the starting pitchers arms not being fully stretched out. 

For the first time ever, there will be massive importance on each game. A 3 game losing streak could drop you out of contention. Baseball doesn’t experience such single game importance like that until the playoffs. That intensity, excitement and interest will bring something new and fresh to the sport. If they play their cards right, MLB can tap into a whole new demographic.

Is this your father and grandfathers MLB season? No. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t credible. Just sit back and be grateful that the sport is back.

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