Does MLB need to play the Second Half?

Does MLB need to play the Second Half?

MLB’s second half is underway. Not much has changed after the first weekend series following the All-Star break. The Orioles, Indians, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Nats, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers and one of the Marlins/Mets would be in the playoffs, just as they would have been when baseball paused for the Midsummer Classic. This begs the questions; does MLB need to play the Second Half?

The MLB season is long. By the All-Star break baseball teams have played more than five full NFL regular seasons. At this point in the campaign we know which teams are the best, right?

To answer that question we need to find out how much the MLB standings change in the second half. Using the Bet Labs database, I pulled the records pre/post All-Star break and noted whether a team that would have made the playoffs if the season ended in mid-July was still a postseason participant after all 162 games were played.

Does MLB need to play the Second Half?

Since 2005, there have been 96 teams to reach the MLB postseason. Of those clubs, only 65 were playoff bound at the All-Star break. That means approximately one-in-three teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended at the All-Star break doesn’t play in the postseason.

Boston, Toronto and Houston are within five games of their respective division leaders in the American League. The Cardinals and Pirates are less than three games out of the Wild Card in the NL. There will be turnover among the current playoff teams; it is just a matter of time.

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