The MLB schedule for the regular season consists of a 162-game slate, with games starting in early April and usually wrapping up in late September or early October. The league adopted this format in 1962 and is unlikely to deviate from that model any time soon.
What Caused MLB Schedule Shortages?
The most recent instance of an abbreviated MLB season came during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, due to both the virus outbreak and a labor dispute over how to resume playing, MLB teams played just 60 regular season games, but the league temporarily expanded the playoff field to 16 teams for one year.
That shortened season proved to be a boon for savvy sports bettors, as MLB odds were more varied due to the smaller sample size of games. This allowed bettors to pounce on more favorable lines.
Other examples of the MLB failing to play a full 162-game schedule involved labor disputes, most recently in 1994-95. This resulted in a canceled World Series and about 50 games lost for each team.
What MLB Schedule Changes Are Coming Soon?
Starting in 2023, MLB teams will play a schedule made up of 56 games against opponents in their division (14 against each club, seven at home and seven away), 60 games against other opponents in their same league (three games at home and three away games), four games against interleague “rivals” as decided by MLB (two at home, two away), and 42 interleague games made up of three-game series against the remaining interleague opponents (with teams alternating home field every other year).
Because of this change, baseball fans can expect to see their favorite team play every other opponent over a two-year span, making for some fun MLB picks along the way. This change will help to grow the game as well with the opportunity to showcase stars in markets which wouldn’t have regularly seen those players otherwise.