In case you don't know, next year Major League Baseball will do two major changes.
In order to have an equal number of teams in each league -- 15 AL teams and 15 NL teams (instead of
14 and 16) -- Houston will move to the NL West. Since each league now has an odd number of teams,
there will have to be an interleague game every single week.
At first sight, this appears horrible. But the more I think about the implications, I actually
think this is a good idea.
The Houston Astros already suck, and they might as well go to the only 4 team division. Now each
division has only 5 teams. And when you think about it, the playing inter-league games every week
doesn't necessarily mean every single team. If it is done well, one team from the AL can play two
other teams from the NL on one week; followed by one team from the NL playing two teams from the AL
another week. And the two teams can be set up so that they play two series against the opposing
league back to back and then wait their turn 14 teams later. It's not really any different then
what is already happening.
However there is one glitch that I see. Since there are twenty-six weeks and 15 teams each league.
26 divided by 15 is less than 2 which basically means some teams will play inter-league less. This
will probably be ameliorated by the fact that a few teams already have natural competitive regions
-- Yanks vs. Mets, Angels vs. Dodgers, Marlins vs. Rays, A's vs. Giants, Reds vs. Indians,
Nationals vs. Orioles, Cardinals vs. Royals. These natural regional competitors could play
twice and the rest of the teams can be rearranged appropriately.
Here's how I would do it. First determine how many teams will be playing. You need 3 teams a week,
or 3 from each league every two weeks, or 6 per two weeks. Half of 26 weeks is 13, and 6 times 13
is 78. So you need 78 teams, 39 per league.
There are 14 (7 per league) natural regional competitors(NRC) and 16 (8 per league) other teams(OTHER).
If the 14 NRC teams play each other 2 times plus 1 other team, that is 42 teams. 72 minus 42 equals
30. So you got 30 more teams necessary from the other 16 teams.
Is it fair to expect the 14 NRC teams to always play the opposite league 3 times? Probably not.
Some teams will play the other league twice. Other teams will play three times.
The 14 NRC teams will always play each other twice, so that leaves 78 minus 28, or 50 teams left.
The other 16 teams play twice, so that leaves 50 minus 32, or 18 teams. These 18 can be determined
randomly every year.
Furthermore, the inter-league games also can only be 3 game series. Which means only 6 games a
week. So that means a Maximum of 9 games and a minimum of 6 games per year.
During the regular season, 162 games are played over 26 weeks. 78 teams times 3 games is 234 team
games. In the regular season you have 162 times 30 team games. This is 4860 team games. Subtract
the 234 inter-league games and you have 4626 that you also need to play in 26 weeks.
Seven times 25 is 175. Six times 25 is 150. Three games plus 24 times six is 147 games.
Teams that play only two opposing league teams will have 162 minus 6, or 156 games left for the
remaining 25 weeks. Teams that play three, will have 162 minus 9, or 151 games left for the
remaining 24.5 weeks left.
The distribution of seven or six game weeks will be up to the league, but you also have to take into
a account the 3/4 day All-Star game stint here. Probably each team will have 7 game weeks about
half of the year.
Anyway, the point is that at a maximum, 9 inter-league games per team is only about 5.5% of the
games. Ten would only be 6.5% of the games. Even assuming a team would play 12 inter-league games,
the percentage is 7.4% of the games.
It isn't going to ruin the game. But it will enhance the finances and in my opinion make the game