Why MLB postseason scheduling is all wrong


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Red Sox and Cardinals lineup prior to the matchup. The stadium atmosphere at this World Series game is what draws many fans to the action packed postseason.

There are many great aspects about the month of October. For some it’s the fall festivities, or maybe it’s the start of the hockey and basketball seasons. For others, it’s the baseball postseason. Over a month ago, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series by beating the Dodgers in 5 games. After another intriguing postseason, it’s time to look back on how things could be changed.

We saw classic match ups this postseason, such as the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox, that have big time players and implications. These types of games are what the fans love to watch and can help get more young people into baseball. However, scheduling the start time of some of these games for two in the afternoon conflicts with this theory.

If the MLB wants more young people to get in on the postseason action, it would be wise to move the start times later rather than when kids are still in school. Another possibility would be to spread out the games. Under the current format, there are games every day and some match ups are even played two days in a row. The scheduling seems very tight and rushed. The MLB seems to be set around this mindset that the playoffs have to start and end in October.

If times were moved back and games spread out (similar to the NBA or NHL scheduling format), the MLB would have a much more entertaining postseason with increased viewership. A more balanced schedule would also give teams a chance to rest with an extra day to recuperate after a long game. Additionally, back to back games allow teams to gain early momentum, and they usually go on to win the series.

“I think some of the timing is wrong and mixed up but the postseason needs to get done. The temperatures get frigid and they are also competing with sports like football and basketball,” junior Eli Priesman said.

Another change that would improve the quality of scheduling for the postseason is to limit the amount of random start times. Some games this postseason started at 5:07 p.m. or 9:37 p.m. These times are too random and exact and in order to increase viewership they should be moved to the top of the hour or half an hour, when they are easier to remember. The prime time game especially should be at a clear cut time in order maximize viewership.

Lastly, the best games should be at the best times. The prime time games are likely to be viewed by more people; therefore, the best match up should fill the prime time slot. For example, if viewers have the choice between Yankees vs. Red Sox or Braves vs. Dodgers, the better game between the two would need to get that perfect 7 p.m. time while the other games start at another time.

It’s clear that the MLB has tried to increase viewership by stacking up the action day after day, but if they change up the schedule it would certainly make for a better postseason.