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How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

How many times does each team play every other team during an MLB regular season?

Well, this is going to be a brand-new thing. For as long as the National and American Leagues have existed as significant leagues, there has never been a season where every team played every other team. (Until 1998, there was no interleague play except in the exhibition season and, of course, the All-Star game and the World Series). 

Since 1998, there has been interleague play, but it has always been limited to a small portion of the schedule. But in the 2023 season, for the first time, each team is scheduled to face every other team.

The format will be as such:

  • Each team will play its divisional opponents (four) 14 times: 56 games.
  • Each team will play its intraleague, nondivisional opponents (ten) 6 times: 60 games.
  • Each team will play its interleague opponents (fifteen) 3 times, except each will have one opponent with an extra fourth game: 46 games.
  • That brings the schedule to the traditional 162

I understand why they’re doing it…to make the wildcard race a little more fair. But I wouldn’t say I like it. The vast majority of interleague games don’t feature intriguing rivalry matchups. I prefer more divisional games, which usually have more meaning.

Note: I wasn’t quite right…it’s even worse than I thought – they’re playing just 13 games per divisional opponent, not 14, and the other four games mean that each team will play seven games instead of six against four of its nondivisional league opponents.

Why is Brooke Monk so famous?

How many times does each team play every other team during an MLB regular season?

Major League Baseball (MLB) team plays 162 games during the regular season. However, it’s worth noting that changes to the schedule or other league rules may occur, so it’s a good idea to check the latest information from official MLB sources for the most up-to-date details on the schedule and format.

Each team is scheduled to play 162 games during the regular season. Sometimes, if a game has been postponed due to bad weather, the game will not be made up if it’s near the end of the season, neither team has an open date when they could play, and the outcome would not affect who qualifies for a postseason berth.

Starting in 2023, all teams will face each other during the regular season. However, teams face their divisional opponents more often that other non-division opponents. Each team will play its 4 division opponents 13 times. So there isn’t a single answer to this question.

How many games are scheduled in one season for each major league team?

  • 162 MLB GAMES in 2021.
  • 60 MLB GAMES in 2020
  • 162 games from 1961 to 2019

(except in 1994 and other strike-shortened seasons)

1961 Season:

  • April 10 – October 12, 1961
  • Number of games: 162 (AL), 154 (NL)
  • Number of teams: 18

The prior 154-game schedule was the day’s rule from 1904-60 in the American League and 1904-61 in the National League.

Why do MLB teams play precisely 162 games in a season?

Why 162 games? There was a reason for this obscure number.

In the early 1960s, baseball expanded — the American League went from eight to ten teams in 1961 (adding the Angels and second Senators, as the original senators relocated to Minnesota), and the National League expanded in 1962 (adding the Mets and Colt (45’s, since renamed the Astros). 

The season was extended in each league in its expansion year, so in 1961, the AL teams played the 162-game schedule, but the NL teams still played 154 games.

Why 162? Indeed, why 154 before it? Basic math. Baseball wanted a balanced schedule — played the other intraleague teams the same number of games, evenly split between home and road. An eight-team league has seven opponents; play each one 22 times (11 home, 11 road), 22 * 7 == 154. And 154 games fit neatly into the mid-April to late-September time frame, allowing for pre-air transportation and some doubleheaders. 

As far as baseball was concerned, 154 worked. (It is important to note there was nothing elsewise magical about 154. Anyone yearning to return to 154 games must make an excellent argument in favor. I haven’t heard one yet. It’s just “well, that was good enough before,” which, meh.)

We need to adjust the schedule with the expansion and adding more teams. Fewer games? No way would mean less income from ticket sales, so that wouldn’t happen. Working the math with baseball’s requirements — play every opponent the exact total of games, evenly divided between home and road — results in 162 being the next higher integer from 154 that satisfies. 

Nine opponents, 9 * 18 (9 home, nine road) == 162 games. Those nine homes/roads are also neatly segmented into series blocs of three, and three fit nicely into the seven-day week with travel days off. So, MLB had an excellent reason to increase the schedule to 162 games. 

Since then — more expansion, more cities, doubleheaders all but eliminated (except as forced by rainouts; the last one scheduled was in 2011), interleague play, realignment into divisions — face it, 162 holds on only due to historical inertia. 

There is NO COMPELLING REASON for baseball to cling to the 162-game schedule, except that changing it is non-trivial. The season lasts from late March to early October, depending on how the calendar falls. The postseason has been expanded, sometimes nudges into November. 

Doubleheaders are long gone. Re-working the 162 game plan would require negotiating with the players union (which can be done, indeed). The CBA mandates so many off-days per season. The All-Star break has been expanded by one off day. The six months that the season occupies are booked solidly.

Changing the schedule (to be specific: extending it; reducing is NOT going to happen) could be done, but picking a number out of thin air would be pointless. Sit down with the involved parties, specify what the schedule should accomplish qualitatively, and then work out what number is a pragmatic solution to the most demands. 

It could be done; no one wants to do it. So we stay stuck on 162, which is no more magical than 154 before it. It had an objective, mathematical basis once upon a time. That time is long past.

How many games will MLB play this year?

In the regular season, the schedule is for 2,430, as usual, since there have been 30 teams in the league. That number is usually not met because some postponed games, usually for inclement weather, are never rescheduled. 

In 2021, there were 2,429 regular-season games because the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies had one washed out. In 2020, of course, the total was nowhere near the usual. In 2019, there were also 2,429 because the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers had one wiped out. 

2018, there were 2,431 regular season games, and you may wonder how that happened when only 2,430 were scheduled. First, 2,429 were played because a match between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins was wiped out. But then there were two ties for division championships.

 The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies of the National League West were 91–71, and the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers of the NL Central were 95–67. 

Each pair played a tiebreaker game, and MLB officially considers these games to be regular season games. (And of course, we never know how many postseason games there will be since series can be short or long). All this to say…no one knows for sure. It’s impossible to put an exact number on it.

How many baseball games are played each year? How many wins does an average team have per year?

Let’s do some math. For the regular season, each team plays 162 games. There are 30 teams. Teams can’t play each other, so one game involves two teams. Therefore, 162 x 15 gives you 2,430 games for the regular season.

For spring training, there are typically 30 games per team and sometimes games against college teams, national teams, etc. So 30 x 15 = 450 games.

Why does MLB have so many games? Is it better if teams played about 80 games a season? If there were fewer games, couldn’t games be shorter, faster, more active, and with more occasional breaks?

Fewer games would mean shorter, faster, more active, or with more occasional breaks. MLB has been a six-month season; the long season 162 is a feature, not a bug. Just as every batter strikes out, every team can expect to lose to almost every other team in their league. 

It’s a game of patience and attention punctuated by moments of some of the most exquisite and precise athleticism of any game. It’s not the NFL, nor does the game strive to be because it would surely fail.

For playoffs, there are four rounds:

There are four best-of-three series (two for the American League and two for the National League) for the Wild-Card series. So 4 x 3 = 12 games. Winners of each of these series get to play teams that had first-round byes.

There are four best-of-five series for the Division Series (again, two for each league, namely, the ALDS and NLDS). So 5 x 4 = 20 games. Each series’s winners play each other for the League Championship Series, namely the ALCS and NLCS.

Each series in the ALCS and NLCS is best-of-seven, so there are 14 games. Winners of these series go on to play in the World Series.

World Series is also a best-of-seven series, so there are seven games. In the middle of the season, there’s a unique game with all the top players called the All-Star Game.

Add everything up (2430 + 450 + 12 + 20 + 14 + 7 + 1), and you get a maximum of 2934 games. By the way, this total is only reached if all the playoff series go the total distance.

The average number of wins a team would have is 81, half of 162 since one team wins and loses. Average teams don’t usually make the playoffs, though sometimes, one or two divisions are more dominant than the others.

How many games does Major League Baseball play per season?

In the regular season, there are 2,430 games scheduled. The number of preseason (exhibition) games varies year to year, and the number of postseason games varies since the series can’t be guaranteed to last a certain number of games (for example, the World Series can be over in as few as four games or as many as seven). 

As for that regular season number, in many years, that number isn’t completed – often, a game will be postponed due to weather and then never played because it has no bearing on the final standings, and it is inconvenient to find a date to bring the two teams back together. (In 2022, all 2,430 games were completed, but that was the first time since 2017.

Although 2018 featured 2,431 regular season games, because one game was lost due to postponement, two “tiebreaker” games were required… MLB rules consider tiebreaker games as part of the regular season, which seems odd since they are games that are not on the initial schedule. But, whatever. How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

How many games a year are there in baseball?

All MLB teams play 162 regular season games. If two teams are tied for a playoff spot, they play a game 163 as a tiebreaker, with the home-field advantage given to the team with the better head-to-head record (with points differential being the backup should they have split the games in which they played).

Additionally, the two best teams from each league who didn’t finish first compete for a chance to play the one seed from their league in a best-of-five division series. The second and third seeds, the second and third best of the division winners, play, and the winners of each advance to the best of seven league championship series, and each league champion faces off in the best of seven World Series. 

So while most teams play 162, if a team plays the maximum number of games, in which they would have to tie for a wild card spot, win the game 163 and furious card game, win the division series in five games, win the league championship series in seven games, and either win or lose the World Series in seven games, they could play many as 183. How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

What two MLB teams have played each other the most?

How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

The Pirates and Cubs have played each other 2544 times – that’s the most common matchup ever. The Chicago Cubs were charter members of the National League (1876), while the Pirates played five seasons in the American Association (1882–86) before jumping to the National League for the 1887 season. So they’ve been playing each other since 1887.

In the table above, both AA and NL games are included. For example, the Cardinals-Dodgers total is shown as 2184. That consists of 106 games when they were both in the AA (1884–89) and 2078 games when they were both in the NL (1892-present.) They couldn’t have played each other in 1890 or ’91.

Also, note that the Cubs and Braves have played each other in all 145 National League seasons; they are the only two teams to say that. But since Divisional play began in 1969, the Cubs and Braves have never been in the same division, while the Cubs and Pirates have always been in the same division. So, the modern unbalanced schedule has put the Cubs-Pirates rivalry on top. How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

What two MLB teams have played each other the most?

Your question considers franchise moves and goes back to 1876 when the National League was founded. The American League was not formed until 1901 when the “modern era” began. So, NL teams have a 25-year head start over any AL team in several games.

Only two of the NL’s eight founding teams have been in continuous operation — the Chicago Cubs and the Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. So, one would think that these two teams have played the most games against each other. But that is not the case, according to Baseball Reference data.

After the Pittsburgh Pirates joined the NL in 1882, they and the Chicago Cubs played 2534 games. Since 1876, the Cubs and the Braves have played only 2308 games in six more seasons. 

How can this be? Until 1969, there were no divisions in the NL, and all teams played each other more or less the same number of times per season (some variations occurred before 1900, but from 1901 to 1968, schedules were uniform). 

When divisional play began, teams played more games against teams in their division. Since the Cubs and the Braves never played in the same division, they played 367 fewer games than the Cubs and the Pirates.

What are the chances of an MLB team going undefeated in an entire 162-game season?

I’ve studied that possibility for about the last ten years. I play a baseball simulation game. I started in the 1870s and drafted amateurs that I know will perform. I have a historical advantage over the game’s AI. (Yes, this simulation had drawn in the 19th century.) I make trades to get players I didn’t acquire in the draft. Usually, by 1915, I’ve got great dream teams.

In the 1915 era, I had players like Cobb, Jackson, Mathewson, Wagner, Lajoie, and Ruth playing for my team, which helped it. Also, having those greats on my team deprives other teams of having them. This is a massive advantage for the “Pug Dogs.”

In the ‘50s, the Pug Dogs had an outfield of Mays, Mantle, and Williams. Mays and Williams don’t go into the Army. I also lower the probability of my Mantle and others getting hurt because I limit injuries in the simulation.

I cheat like hell. In the 10,000 or so seasons I’ve simulated, and despite my cheating, no team ever won even 90% of the games in a season. Baseball has too many variables for any team to win, even 154 games straight.

How many games do MLB teams play?

Beginning with the first expansion, the AL in 1961 and the NL in 1962, the regular MLB season consists of 162 games. Today, the postseason consists of a minimum of 11 (12 for the wildcard team) and a maximum of 19 (20 for the wildcard team) potential games.

  • The wildcard game
  • A best-of-five LDS
  • A best of seven LCS
  • A best of seven World Series

Preseason games are scrimmages, not actual games. The tie at the end of the regular season may result in a one-game playoff like those in 2012. Teams with games rained out that haven’t been played at the end of the season may play less than 162 if the games don’t affect the final standings.

In 2019, the White Sox and Tigers played 161 games. The Sox finished the season 72–89 and the Tigers 41–114. Playing the game wouldn’t have affected the championship standings or the draft order for 2020.

How many games can a player play in one season in Major League Baseball?

Under the current MLB playoff rules, a team can play 162 games during the regular season and a maximum of 22 playoff games (three wild cards, five divisions, seven leagues, and seven World Series). 

That’s 184 games. In the past, teams sometimes played one or three extra tie-breaker games at the end of the season, but those are no longer allowed. Another rule in the past is that before 2020, games stopped before they became official (that is, before five innings, although the precise rules are a bit complicated); they used to be started over when replayed. 

A team could pick up more games if playing in an unofficial game counts. Finally, in the past, players were credited for statistics—including games played—even if a team later replayed the game (usually due to a tie result in the first game).

But 184 games is not the limit for players under current rules because players can be traded. Theoretically, a player could start the first MLB game scheduled on a day, get sold after one pitch, and play for any other team whose game had to start. 

With careful planning, a player could manage 100 or more games this way during the 125 days from Opening Day to the trade deadline. 

If you are centered in Los Angeles or Milwaukee, there are a lot of other stadiums you could get to between the first pitch of the first game of the day and the first pitch of the last game. And on a few days, you could get two games in the same city and pick up a third before or after.

In 1904, Detroit Tigers centerfielder Jimmy Barrett played 162 games despite teams playing 154 games at the time. That’s the record for regular season games above the average team number. He didn’t get traded, but Detroit had an MLB-record ten ties, replayed eight of them, and Barrett played all 162.

In 1915, the Cincinnati Reds replayed their six ties, and both right fielder Tommy Griffith and 2B/3B Heinie Groh played in all 160 games. Outfielder Ralph Kiner holds the record for extra regular-season games due to a trade. In 1953, he played 158 games—41 for Pittsburgh and 117 for the Cubs—although both teams played only 154 games.

Why does MLB have so many games? 

Would it be better if teams played about 80 games a season? If there were fewer games, couldn’t games be shorter, faster, more active, and with more occasional breaks?

As for why the season is so long when baseball was first born, the best baseball-playing weather was determined to be between the beginning of April and the end of September, so that’s when they played baseball. 

Shortening the season has been brought up before, certainly not by as much as is suggested here, but there was talk of cutting the season back down to around 150–154 games. 

The reasoning was more like giving the players some rest time during the season and preventing the World Series from being played in November if they expanded the playoffs, which they did. But obviously, it never happened.

The reasoning here needs to apply. Shortening the season would not make each game shorter, faster, and more active, and I don’t even know what “fewer breaks” means. If the baseball season was trimmed to 80 games a year, you could take every record in the books and carve them in stone because none of them will ever be broken again. 

To break Barry Bonds’s record of 762 home runs, a player has to average 39 home runs a year over 20 years. That would mean hitting a home run every other game for an entire 20-year career if the player played every game for those 20 years.


“Why does MLB have so many games? Would’t it be better if teams played about 80 games a season?” (08-September-2021)
They play “so many” games because games are the primary product sold for revenue. And they have about six months to fill.

Would a substantially shorter season be better? I don’t know. You tell me. As a proponent of change, you are responsible for describing what improvements, general and specific, could be realized through this initiative. You must do the heavy lifting here, or you’re just keyboard-crabbing.

The current regular season is 162 games. Most teams winning 100 of those end up in their division’s first place and ready for the playoffs. In 2022, the Washington Nationals had the worst record at 55 wins and 107 losses.

How many times does each team play during an MLB regular season?

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