Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

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Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby apete6 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:33 am

I know we've had this discussion on this topic several times, but I wanted to start a thread solely dedicated to scheduling ideas/thoughts/proposals. And, with Manfred reportedly open to going back to 154 (or less?) and the Cubs at least being in the playoff discussion for the first time since the 2nd wild card game was invented, timing isn't bad.

I have 2 not fully baked proposals:

1. Leagues/Divisions stay as is, regular season remains 162 games.
Regular Season:
18 games vs. division foes (72 games)
6 games vs. rest of your league (60 games)
3 games vs. each team in designated other league division (30 games)

Pros: A bit fairer than what they do now
Cons: Interleague "rivalries" only played 3 games every 3rd year

Playoffs:
Wild Card round is 3 games at higher seeded team, including a doubleheader the first day
All other series are now 7 games and home field is based on record

Pros: Fairer way to determine champion, ASG no longer determines home field in the WS
Cons: Lacks "one and done" element of wild card game, wild card doubleheader is not necessarily fair, longer overall season

2. Regular Season dialed back to 156 games. Go back to 4 divisions but add 2 teams to go 16 AL/16 NL

Regular Season:
12 games vs. division foes (84 games)
6 games vs. other division (48 games)
3 games vs. each team in 1 division in other league--rotates annually (24 games)

Pros: Division games mean more, keeps parts of interleague
Cons: Expansion might not be a great idea, minimizes interleague play, "sanctity of the game" people don't like not being 162 or 154.

Playoffs:

Division winners automatically make it and there are 4 wild cards. HOWEVER, seeding is based purely on record. Top 2 seeds get byes.

Wild Card Round: (3) hosts (6) and (4) hosts (5) in a 3 game series including DH on first day. All games at top seed.
Division Series: (1) has home field advantage over lowest remaining seed and (2) has homefield advantage highest remaining seed in 7 game series (2/2/1/1/1)
LCS: Top remaining seed has home field advantage over lowest remaining seed in 7 game series (2/2/1/1/1)
World Series: As is, except for the obvious answer of best remaining record gets home field advantage (2/2/1/1/1)

Pros: Top Seeds get advantage with bye/rest, silly World Series All Star Game thing ends, with addition of teams it's still a relatively low % of playoff teams (12/32=38%, same as NFL is now but NFL rumored to be going to 14/32 soon), Wild Card round more fair
Cons: Wild Card DH is not necessarily fair, maybe top teams don't want bye/rest, 6 playoff teams could be viewed as too much

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby jersey cubs fan » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:36 am

doubleheader in the playoffs would be very bad and stands no chance at happening.


And I do not see the need to "improve" on the wild card play in game. It's awesome and should be appreciated.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:38 am

jersey cubs fan wrote:doubleheader in the playoffs would be very bad and stands no chance at happening.


And I do not see the need to "improve" on the wild card play in game. It's awesome and should be appreciated.


This. What little is removed in randomness vs. a 3 game series (and it's *very* little) is far outweighed by the excitement factor.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby apete6 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:43 am

David wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:doubleheader in the playoffs would be very bad and stands no chance at happening.


And I do not see the need to "improve" on the wild card play in game. It's awesome and should be appreciated.


This. What little is removed in randomness vs. a 3 game series (and it's *very* little) is far outweighed by the excitement factor.


I'm SURE we'll all feel the same way when it's Dan Haren vs. Garret Cole in a couple of months.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:45 am

apete6 wrote:
David wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:doubleheader in the playoffs would be very bad and stands no chance at happening.


And I do not see the need to "improve" on the wild card play in game. It's awesome and should be appreciated.


This. What little is removed in randomness vs. a 3 game series (and it's *very* little) is far outweighed by the excitement factor.


I'm SURE we'll all feel the same way when it's Dan Haren vs. Garret Cole in a couple of months.


Yeah, because that's super likely to happen.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:46 am

I will be very grateful to still be in the playoffs considering 3 of our starting pitchers got hurt/died.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:46 am

David wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:doubleheader in the playoffs would be very bad and stands no chance at happening.


And I do not see the need to "improve" on the wild card play in game. It's awesome and should be appreciated.


This. What little is removed in randomness vs. a 3 game series (and it's *very* little) is far outweighed by the excitement factor.


Worrrrrrrrrrrrrrd. Love the WC setup.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:47 am

apete6 wrote:I'm SURE we'll all feel the same way when it's Dan Haren vs. Garret Cole in a couple of months.


Why would that happen?
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:48 am

Sammy Sofa wrote:
apete6 wrote:I'm SURE we'll all feel the same way when it's Dan Haren vs. Garret Cole in a couple of months.


Why would that happen?


Because lots of people think worst case scenarios are always what we should base decisions on on stuff.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:54 am

Repeating this since I've seen this worry elsewhere: It is literally impossible for Haren to be the starter in any playoff game unless one or more starters are hurt. In a hypothetical where the Cubs need to play to win every game in order to make the wild card(not guaranteed) and where Arrieta and Lester pitch the last 2 days of the season(not currently how the rotation is arranged), and where Haren is the next starter due up, One of Hendricks/Hammel will be on normal rest and the other will be on 3 days rest. There's another off day between Wild Card and Division series start, at which point Lester and Arrieta would be set to start games 1, 2, and 5 on normal rest.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby UMFan83 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:56 am

Sammy Sofa wrote:
apete6 wrote:I'm SURE we'll all feel the same way when it's Dan Haren vs. Garret Cole in a couple of months.


Why would that happen?


Hammel goes down with injury, Arrieta pitches Saturday, Lester pitches sunday, Wada is deported, Wood gets injured washing his truck, Hendricks contract is voided when it is determined he is actually 17 and not legally able to sign a contract, Haren randonly starts throwing 94 again.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby seanimal » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:59 am

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:Repeating this since I've seen this worry elsewhere: It is literally impossible for Haren to be the starter in any playoff game unless one or more starters are hurt. In a hypothetical where the Cubs need to play to win every game in order to make the wild card(not guaranteed) and where Arrieta and Lester pitch the last 2 days of the season(not currently how the rotation is arranged), and where Haren is the next starter due up, One of Hendricks/Hammel will be on normal rest and the other will be on 3 days rest. There's another off day between Wild Card and Division series start, at which point Lester and Arrieta would be set to start games 1, 2, and 5 on normal rest.


yeah but what if they're not???
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby UMFan83 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:01 pm

As for the schedule....

156 games (already this will never happen)
Wild Card game as it is
All 3 rounds are 7 game series

And with 40% of the playoff spots now decided between teams in all divisions, I would greatly like the schedule to be more balanced so that a team that has to play the Cardinals and Pirates 18 teams is not competiting for the same playoff spot as a team with lesser teams at the top of their division.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Proven Veteran » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:04 pm

Get rid of interleague and make the rest of the schedule more balanced.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:09 pm

Proven Veteran wrote:Get rid of interleague and make the rest of the schedule more balanced.


Have full interleague and a fully balanced schedule and the DH in both leagues
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby jersey cubs fan » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:16 pm

I always find it helpful to consider what is best for the business of baseball when considering these concepts. That means things that make the teams money will not be taken away while things that cost teams money will not occur.

Interleague will not be taken away. Neutral site games will not be played. One game play ins may one day be removed, but you would have to replace it with something far more television friendly than doubleheaders and 3 game series. The league likes the ratings they get from guaranteed elimination games. Those numbers go down sharply in the division series. Rivalries sell and you will play your divisional opponents more often.

You shouldn't bother thinking too much about what you perceive to be "fair" or what more accurately correlates to which teams actually played a better regular season regardless of their record, or doing away with "arbitrary/fluky" games. A sport where good teams regularly lose more than 40% of their games is going to have fluky results.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:17 pm

1 series against every interleague team - 45
2 series against every intraleague team outside division - 60
4 series against all divisional teams - 48

Gets rid of some of the unfairness of unbalanced schedules while still preserving some of the benefit(read: ticket sales), and shortens the schedule to keep the postseason from being played in the arctic.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:20 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:I always find it helpful to consider what is best for the business of baseball when considering these concepts. That means things that make the teams money will not be taken away while things that cost teams money will not occur.

Interleague will not be taken away. Neutral site games will not be played. One game play ins may one day be removed, but you would have to replace it with something far more television friendly than doubleheaders and 3 game series. The league likes the ratings they get from guaranteed elimination games. Those numbers go down sharply in the division series. Rivalries sell and you will play your divisional opponents more often.

You shouldn't bother thinking too much about what you perceive to be "fair" or what more accurately correlates to which teams actually played a better regular season regardless of their record, or doing away with "arbitrary/fluky" games. A sport where good teams regularly lose more than 40% of their games is going to have fluky results.


It'd be nice of the playoffs weren't seeded based on division standings at least. I'm not sure how to work that out, though.

Go back to two divisions (to maintain the rivalry/unbalanced sched component) and seed the best 5 teams in order of record?
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby apete6 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:25 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:I always find it helpful to consider what is best for the business of baseball when considering these concepts. That means things that make the teams money will not be taken away while things that cost teams money will not occur.

Interleague will not be taken away. Neutral site games will not be played. One game play ins may one day be removed, but you would have to replace it with something far more television friendly than doubleheaders and 3 game series. The league likes the ratings they get from guaranteed elimination games. Those numbers go down sharply in the division series. Rivalries sell and you will play your divisional opponents more often.

You shouldn't bother thinking too much about what you perceive to be "fair" or what more accurately correlates to which teams actually played a better regular season regardless of their record, or doing away with "arbitrary/fluky" games. A sport where good teams regularly lose more than 40% of their games is going to have fluky results.


I really like most of this post and I agree that they are after money, which they probably should be and that is somewhat disheartening when you actually realize that's what sports are 100% about right now. The English Premier League, IMO, really does a great job of emphasizing the importance of every game, as does college football. One game playoffs in a sport where, as you said, good teams lose 40% of the time anyway, will never sit well with me. In my mind, either go full on madness like College Basketball or, one could argue, the NFL, or value the regular season at least slightly more.

At least baseball isn't as bad as NBA and NHL where the regular season is nearly 100% meaningless. Though those postseasons are incredible to watch, it's hard to justify shelling out $75-$100 for a 300 level ticket to a regular season basketball or hockey game.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby jersey cubs fan » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:25 pm

David wrote:It'd be nice of the playoffs weren't seeded based on division standings at least. I'm not sure how to work that out, though.

Go back to two divisions (to maintain the rivalry/unbalanced sched component) and seed the best 5 teams in order of record?


But why?

All that finagling just to make it appear that the seeds are more accurate? Win your division or get in by wild card. It ads to the drama of the regular season.

If some weaker team gets in via a weak division and some good team gets screwed by being in a strong division, it just means there are more teams in the race at the end, which the league is going to like.

The playoffs should never be about the cleanest and most accurate portrayal of what the teams should be ranked.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:26 pm

David wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:I always find it helpful to consider what is best for the business of baseball when considering these concepts. That means things that make the teams money will not be taken away while things that cost teams money will not occur.

Interleague will not be taken away. Neutral site games will not be played. One game play ins may one day be removed, but you would have to replace it with something far more television friendly than doubleheaders and 3 game series. The league likes the ratings they get from guaranteed elimination games. Those numbers go down sharply in the division series. Rivalries sell and you will play your divisional opponents more often.

You shouldn't bother thinking too much about what you perceive to be "fair" or what more accurately correlates to which teams actually played a better regular season regardless of their record, or doing away with "arbitrary/fluky" games. A sport where good teams regularly lose more than 40% of their games is going to have fluky results.


It'd be nice of the playoffs weren't seeded based on division standings at least. I'm not sure how to work that out, though.

Go back to two divisions (to maintain the rivalry/unbalanced sched component) and seed the best 5 teams in order of record?


Two divisions does some interesting things if you keep the current playoff structure. Division winners + best WC record get full series, and you could make the divisional series seeded only by W/L to at least reward a play-in winner that was better than the other division winner.

Downside is you now have unbalanced divisions, so not only is scheduling based on division size a nightmare but it's fundamentally less fair across divisions.

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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:31 pm

apete6 wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:I always find it helpful to consider what is best for the business of baseball when considering these concepts. That means things that make the teams money will not be taken away while things that cost teams money will not occur.

Interleague will not be taken away. Neutral site games will not be played. One game play ins may one day be removed, but you would have to replace it with something far more television friendly than doubleheaders and 3 game series. The league likes the ratings they get from guaranteed elimination games. Those numbers go down sharply in the division series. Rivalries sell and you will play your divisional opponents more often.

You shouldn't bother thinking too much about what you perceive to be "fair" or what more accurately correlates to which teams actually played a better regular season regardless of their record, or doing away with "arbitrary/fluky" games. A sport where good teams regularly lose more than 40% of their games is going to have fluky results.


I really like most of this post and I agree that they are after money, which they probably should be and that is somewhat disheartening when you actually realize that's what sports are 100% about right now. The English Premier League, IMO, really does a great job of emphasizing the importance of every game, as does college football. One game playoffs in a sport where, as you said, good teams lose 40% of the time anyway, will never sit well with me. In my mind, either go full on madness like College Basketball or, one could argue, the NFL, or value the regular season at least slightly more.

At least baseball isn't as bad as NBA and NHL where the regular season is nearly 100% meaningless. Though those postseasons are incredible to watch, it's hard to justify shelling out $75-$100 for a 300 level ticket to a regular season basketball or hockey game.


What little is added in flukishness (plus the extra round) makes winning the division more important. What's the problem?

The sucky part is when the two wild card teams would be in first place in either other division. It's probably an unusual scenario but it's playing out this year.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby mul21 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:36 pm

1. Leagues/Divisions stay as is, regular season remains 162 games.
Regular Season:
18 games vs. division foes (72 games)
6 games vs. rest of your league (60 games)
3 games vs. each team in designated other league division (30 games)

I'm lost on the math on the bolded.......what teams are they playing? Just one of the other divisions and it should be 6 games or 2 of the other 3?
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby jersey cubs fan » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:37 pm

apete6 wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:I always find it helpful to consider what is best for the business of baseball when considering these concepts. That means things that make the teams money will not be taken away while things that cost teams money will not occur.

Interleague will not be taken away. Neutral site games will not be played. One game play ins may one day be removed, but you would have to replace it with something far more television friendly than doubleheaders and 3 game series. The league likes the ratings they get from guaranteed elimination games. Those numbers go down sharply in the division series. Rivalries sell and you will play your divisional opponents more often.

You shouldn't bother thinking too much about what you perceive to be "fair" or what more accurately correlates to which teams actually played a better regular season regardless of their record, or doing away with "arbitrary/fluky" games. A sport where good teams regularly lose more than 40% of their games is going to have fluky results.


I really like most of this post and I agree that they are after money, which they probably should be and that is somewhat disheartening when you actually realize that's what sports are 100% about right now. The English Premier League, IMO, really does a great job of emphasizing the importance of every game, as does college football. One game playoffs in a sport where, as you said, good teams lose 40% of the time anyway, will never sit well with me. In my mind, either go full on madness like College Basketball or, one could argue, the NFL, or value the regular season at least slightly more.

At least baseball isn't as bad as NBA and NHL where the regular season is nearly 100% meaningless. Though those postseasons are incredible to watch, it's hard to justify shelling out $75-$100 for a 300 level ticket to a regular season basketball or hockey game.

I think baseball's system does a great job of valuing the regular season while at the same time making the world series the most important thing. You win your division in the regular season and get in a select group of playoff participants without having to play the one game playoff.

The idea that a one game play-in doesn't sit well but a 3 game series with a DH involved somehow works is preposterous to me.

The EPL only gets away with the regular season is everything concept because they have the champions league and other tournaments, and therefore the regular season is not everything. That is their playoffs and they rely on it heavily for their business model, both in terms of revenue generators and promotion/marketing. They also only have 20 teams, and the gimmick of relegation and promotion to keep interest in the bottom of the draw. I don't think it's a meaningful comparison.
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Re: Regular Season and Playoff Schedule Thoughts

Postby David » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:38 pm

mul21 wrote:1. Leagues/Divisions stay as is, regular season remains 162 games.
Regular Season:
18 games vs. division foes (72 games)
6 games vs. rest of your league (60 games)
3 games vs. each team in designated other league division (30 games)

I'm lost on the math on the bolded.......what teams are they playing? Just one of the other divisions and it should be 6 games or 2 of the other 3?


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