On Monday, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, says MLB is mulling a season in the neighborhood of 50 games. That would be the shortest season in major-league history. The aim would be to still start around early July but the end date is still to be determined. Usually, the MLB season is 162 games, so playing a 50-game season would be only playing around 30 percent of a normal season. Some people believe this is not enough games to determine who the best of the best are.
The Kansas City Royals in a 50-game regular season would be a interesting notion and brings up several questions. How would stats look through 50 games? Is 50 games enough to decide which teams make the playoffs? Who would each team play? I looked back at the Royals first 50 games of the last few season to get a look at what things might look like if the MLB decides to go this route.
Who would the Royals play?
With only playing around 50 games, the Royals schedule would look very simple. Playing teams in your division may be the only answer to this. As the Royals play in the American League Central, they would play the Twins, Indians, White Sox, and Tigers throughout the season. They would have to play each team around 12 to 13 games. This would easily decide who is the best team in each division around the league.
Royals Win/Loss Record
I went back and looked at what the Royals standings throughout the last several years to compare what maybe the Royals record would look like. However, the league could look different while playing 50 games. The Royals in 2014 went to the World Series as a Wild Card team. However, in the first 50 games of the 2014 season, the Royals had a record of 24-26. That seems like the Royals would be cutting it close to make the expanded playoffs.
Over the last 2 seasons, the Royals have had the same record through 50 games with 17-33. This seems like the Royals chances are not likely to make a postseason run in 2020. However, the Royals odds to make the playoffs in a full 162-game season are around 0.5 percent. In a 80-game season, the Royals odds to make the playoffs jump to around 14 percent. So in a 50-game season, the odds would be all over the place. Another fun fact, last seasons World Series champions, the Washington Nationals through 50 games were 19-31 and would have not made the expanded playoffs. So it could be an “anything is possible” type of season and teams will have to get off to a hot start.
What stats would look like in 50-game season.
Lots of baseball fans like to dig up the stats throughout the year. In a shortened season, things would look a little odd. I went back and looked at some of the 2019 Royals to see what their stat-lines would look like if they only played 50 games.
The biggest stat-line that stands out of these three players would be OF Jorge Soler. Soler led the American League in Home Runs last year in 2019. However, only playing 50-games, Soler would only have one more home run than Hunter Dozier. Hitters and pitchers stats are not going to look normal whatsoever but when you only play around 30 percent of a regular season, that is going to happen.
Obviously, nothing is official between the MLB and the MLBPA. So a 50-game season is not a given but it seems like a last resort if both sides cannot come to a agreement. Players seem to want to play anywhere in the range of 80-115ish games. The Royals would have some pros and cons if the season was like this. If the past repeats itself, they would finish in the lower tier of the AL Central and not compete for a spot in the expanded playoff. On the other hand, the Royals could get hot early and have a better record then expected and make a run for a playoff spot if the season is shorter.
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