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MLB Realignment applied to 2016

Submitted by da HOOK on 11 February, 2017 - 09:27

I previously posted on Major League realignment. This post looks at the 2016 season under that plan.

Ignoring effects on scheduling, the 2016 regular season results and playoffs:

American National Expansion
Texas 95-67 Chicago 103-58 Washington 95-67
Cleveland 94-67 Los Angeles 91-71 Toronto 89-73
Boston 93-69 New York 87-75 Seattle 86-76
Baltimore 89-73 San Francisco 87-75 Kansas City 81-81
Detroit 86-75 St Louis 86-76 Miami 79-82
New York 84-78 Houston 84-78 Colorado 75-87
White Sox 78-84 Pittsburgh 78-83 Milwaukee 73-89
Los Angeles 74-88 Philadelphia 71-91 Arizona 69-93
Oakland 69-93 Atlanta 68-93 San Diego 68-94
Minnesota 59-103 Cincinnati 68-94 Tampa Bay 68-94

In this scenario, the Cleveland-Detroit rainout would have to be made up. If we assume Detroit won, Cleveland would be in second place.

Postseason with 9 teams:

  • tiebreaker game : #8t SF (N) at #8t NY (N)
  • #9 SEA (X) at #8 SF/NY winner (N)
  • #7 BOS (A) at #2 TEX (A)
  • #6 TOR (X) at #3 WAS (X)
  • #5 LA (N) at #4 CLE (A)
  • Wild card winner at #1 CUB (N)

In the four-team playoff, it would be Cleveland at Texas in the American League, and Washington at the Cubs in the other series.

However, during the days of the 162-game schedule and the 10-team leagues, each team played each of the other teams 18 times (9 at home, and 9 away). I figured the head-to-head percentages for teams in the same league and extended those to 18 games, recording wins to two places. I did not consider home and away records. In case of 6-0 or 3-0 sweeps, I used 6½-½ or 3½-½ as appropriate. For teams that did not play at all, I used the total wins of each team against the league (including interleague play); so for San Francisco vs Houston, I used 87-84, which led to 9.16 wins for San Francisco and 8.84 wins for Houston. I then totaled the wins, and rounded the top fractional totals up (and the rest of them down) until I had 810 wins for the league.

The revised standings are presented below.

American National Expansion
Baltimore 98-64 Chicago 99-63 Seattle 94-68
New York 93-69 New York 95-67 Toronto 94-68
Boston 90-72 Los Angeles 92-70 Miami 91-71
Texas 84-78 St Louis 87-75 Kansas City 83-79
White Sox 82-80 Houston 85-77 Milwaukee 83-79
Cleveland 81-81 Pittsburgh 81-81 Washington 83-79
Detroit 79-83 San Francisco 79-83 Tampa Bay 82-80
Los Angeles 70-92 Atlanta 69-93 San Diego 68-94
Oakland 67-95 Cincinnati 64-98 Colorado 67-95
Minnesota 66-96 Philadelphia 59-103 Arizona 65-97

The AL East teams move up from not having to play Toronto. Central division teams lose Kansas City, while western teams lose Houston. National League teams are brought to the center by playing Houston; NL West teams no longer get to pick on Arizona and Colorado. Atlanta benefits from not playing Washington. In the expansion league, many teams are brought to the center by playing teams they did not play in the real world in 2016. Philadelphia falls from having to play the Cubs, Cardinals, and Dodgers more.

Nine-team postseason:

  • #9 BOS (A) at #8 MIA (X)
  • #7 LA (N) at #2 BAL (A)
  • #6 NY (A) at #3 SEA (X)
  • #5 TOR (X) at #4 NY (N)
  • Wild card winner at #1 CUB (N)

The four-team postseason would require a playoff between Toronto and Seattle for the Expansion League pennant, with the winner to play Baltimore while the Mets play the Cubs in the NLCS.