MLB Analysis: 6 Take-a Ways from the season that hasn’t happened yet

Oct 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; A fan watches in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Yankees and all the MLB teams, this will be a very unusual season, to say the least.  It’s a baseball season of only 60 games, and no matter who wins it all, it will have a giant asterisk after it. Here are my six most significant take-a-ways from a season that hasn’t taken place yet.

1. COVID-19

Like it or not, not the rules, not the health protocols, and not the players or owners will much to say about how this season turns out.  It will be the coronavirus that will control 2020 baseball.  It will control everything from if the season can be completed to where games are played.

The coronavirus is cropping up amongst baseball players and associated crews. The virus is out of control in areas where some home parks are. The consequences are substantial.  Don’t forget for one minute what is in control of this baseball season.

2. The 2.5 factor

I’ve written about this before. Every game, every loss, every dropped ball, and every missed save with count with a significant factor of 2.5, requiring a play intensity that is only seen in the postseason normally. The factor if you want to split hairs is between 2.5 and 2.7. Here is an example, if your closer blows 3 saves in a row, in a regular-season that would be like 10 saves blown, an unthinkable situation.  If say, Giancarlo Stanton hits three home runs in a series, it would be the same as hitting 10 home runs in a series during a regular season.  Or we could talk about Aaron Judge hitting 3 homers in two games.  Multiply that by 2.5. You get the point.

3. Image an AL Wild Card game played against a team you haven’t played against in your regular season.

This 2020 season is marvelously set up so teams don’t have to travel much. Teams in the three geographic regions will still get to play their traditional rivals and they will also play the teams in the opposing League.  But think about this for a moment.  In a short season in the end there may be as many as seventeen teams playing for a wild card position.  Any given team may have to for a wild card berth against a team they have never played against.  Example the White Sox playing against the Blue Jays.  Fair?  Probably not.

4. What’s the big deal with the man on 2nd after nine innings?

Many baseball purists make a big deal over the man on 2nd in each half inning after nine innings.  Think about in a short season we don’t want bullpens worn out from fifteen inning games.  In a short 60 game season bases on statistics that might happen only five or six times, so it really isn’t a big deal.

5. Is there a home-field advantage in 2020?

In a normal 162 game season, it is well known that there is a home-field advantage in both an individual series and in the postseason. But is there a home-field advantage, if there is will it be fair.  No. The Toronto Blue Jays won’t be able to have real home games because they can play at Roger’s Center.  In other parks with no fans in the stands does it lessen the home-field advantage. Yes, it does.  This will be a season like no other.

6. Is the 2020 season fair to all?

No, it’s not. I’ve already mentioned the Toronto Blue Jays having no home park to play in.  Are they at a disadvantage?  Probably.  Then there is the situation of the St. Louis Cardinals.  In the normal season, the would have played nine competitive fun-filled games with the New York Yankees. Now instead they will play 10 games against the lowly Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers.  Far to the other teams, hell no.  What a gift.