2023 MLB Regular Season Format: New Balanced Schedule

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The Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after winning the baseball NL Championship Series against the San Diego Padres in Game 5 on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Rachael Millanta @rachaelmillanta Dec 13, 2022, 12:14 PM
  • The 2023 MLB regular season will run Thursday, Mar. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 1.
  • This will be the first season to feature a new balanced schedule.
  • All teams will play each other for at least one series during the regular season.

The Winter Meetings are behind us, star free agents are being signed to ambitious teams across the league, and World Series odds are on everyone’s mind. The 2023 regular season starts on Thursday, Mar. 30, and exciting changes to the schedule are sure to keep things interesting.

Last August, Major League Baseball announced they’d be introducing a new balanced schedule for the 2023 regular season. So, what’s it all about?

How Does the MLB Balanced Schedule Work?

The new balanced schedule will feature all 30 major league teams playing each other for at least one series during the regular season. 

Each team will play 52 divisional games (previously 76), 64 games against teams in their league (previously 66), and 46 games against teams in the other league (previously 20). 

All teams will play a four-game home-and-home series against their geographic interleague rival (for example, Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox), plus one three-game series against each of the other 14 teams in the other league.

It’s a little bit confusing, so here’s an example.

In the 2023 regular season, the New York Yankees will play 52 games against teams in the AL East, 64 games against other teams in the American League (AL Central and AL West), and 46 games against teams in the National League. 

They will play a four-game series against the New York Mets split between the two home fields, and one three-game series against every other team in the NL.

Why is Major League Baseball Changing the Regular Season Schedule?

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association agreed to the new schedule format as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was signed in March 2022 (remember the lockout?). It’s intended to be more consistent and fair for all teams and provide more range in the matchups for fans.

With the expanded playoff format introduced in 2022, the rankings of teams within divisions and leagues are extremely consequential. Just winning a division isn’t enough — teams must have the top two records to receive a bye and not have to play a Wild Card series. 

With so much riding on winning records and rankings, creating a balanced schedule that pits all teams against each other equally is the best way to ensure every team has the fairest opportunity. No one gets an easy ride. 

It’s new. It’s exciting. And honestly, a lot of people won’t even notice the difference.

Bring on 2023.

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About the Author

Rachael Millanta

Read More @rachaelmillanta

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.