When it comes to Major League Baseball, there’s no shortage of interesting facts and statistics. Some relate to the games themselves, some to the players and participating teams, and more.
In this article, we’ll answer various questions, including how many games there are in an MLB season, who the top baseball players are, and what dates are the most important in MLB.
So, let’s get started!
How Many Baseball Games Are There in a Season?
Major League Baseball features around 2,430 games per season. These games are spread across the six-month season that lasts from early spring to early fall. This number encompasses games played in the American League and the National League.
The Number of Teams in MLB
Major League Baseball encompasses 30 teams. These are spread throughout the American and National Leagues, with 15 teams each.
Each Team Plays 162 Baseball Games in a Season
Every professional MLB team plays 162 regular season games. However, the total number rises when we count spring training games and the games in the postseason.
This number changed throughout history, however. In 1884, 112 games were played, increasing to 154 by 1892. Major League Baseball adopted the current 162-game schedule in 1969.
The only exception since then had occurred in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when the teams played only 60 games for the entire season.
As for the postseason, the minimum number of games teams can play ranges from 32 to 53.
How Long Is a Baseball Season?
The regular season starts in late March or early April, lasting until early October. In 2022, spring training took place from March 17th to April 5th. The postseason was scheduled to start in early October and end in early November the same year.
When Does the Regular Season in Baseball Start?
Although MLB baseball seasons start by the end of March or the beginning of April, the exact date may differ from year to year.
For example, the 2022 season was initially slated for the first two series from March 31st to April 7th. However, when the authorities revised the 2022 regular schedule, they decided that the regular season should kick off on April 7th.
In 2021, the regular MLB season started on April 1st, while the starting date for 2023, according to the current MLB league schedule, will be March 30th.
When Is Baseball Season Over?
The timing of the baseball season’s end also varies from year to year. For example, the regular season of 2021 ended on October 3rd, while the postseason was over on November 2nd.
The year before, in 2020, the shortened season ended on October 27, when the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Tampa Bay Rays 4:2.
Major League Baseball Schedule
The MLB schedule for the 2023 season is here, and the new season brings some major changes when it kicks off on March 30th.
Namely, a team’s slate won’t be mainly skewed toward its division opponents anymore. So, when this competition begins, the more balanced structure will ensure each of the 30 teams plays one another at least once before the end of the season.
In other words, the new schedule format decreases the number of divisional games from 76 to 52 and the number of other intraleague games from 66 to 64. At the same time, the number of interleague games will increase drastically from 20 to 46.
That means that every team will compete in interleague play against their geographic interleague rivals in a four-game home-and-home series.
Despite the MLB structure changes, the total number of games in the MLB season remains the same.
The MLB Trade Deadline
Major League Baseball’s trade deadline typically occurs in late July. However, the date may change from one year to another due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and MLB Players Association.
Although the deadline officially ends in early August at the latest, baseball players can change teams until August 31.
The Number of Players Per MLB Team
Major League Baseball teams must have a roster of 26 active players from Opening Day through August 31. The number of pitchers a team may have during this time is 13.
From September 1 until the end of the regular season, all baseball teams carry 28 players, with up to 14 pitchers.
The Most Successful MLB Teams
Since the inception of baseball in 1839, many teams have held the title of the best MLB team. The most successful teams in baseball history based on the number of World Series titles won compared to the number of appearances are:
- New York Yankees: 27 out of 40
- Saint Louis Cardinals: 11 out of 19
- Boston Red Sox: 9 out of 13
- Oakland Athletics: 9 out of 14
- San Francisco Giants: 8 out of 20
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 7 out of 20
If you’re wondering how many MLB teams have won World Series since 2010, the answer is nine, and these are the winners:
- San Francisco Giants (2010, 2012, and 2014)
- Boston Red Sox (2013 and 2018)
- Atlanta Braves (2021)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (2020)
- Washington Nationals (2019)
- Houston Astros (2017)
- Chicago Cubs (2016)
- Kansas City Royals (2015)
- Saint Louis Cardinals (2011)
Best Baseball Players of All Time
Many MLB players have left their mark on baseball history. The list of the top MLB players of all time is long, but we’ll mention a few of the most prominent names here. If you’re looking for current top-tier MLB players, we have a dedicated list for that as well.
George Herman Ruth, also known as Babe Ruth and the Sultan of Swath, played 22 seasons, hitting a baseball farther than anyone believed possible. Moreover, he smacked just over 600 long balls from 1918 to 1931, with the runner-up making less than 300 during that period. Finally, Babe Ruth managed 54 home runs in 1920, with nobody reaching 20.
Willie Mays is considered the most outstanding center fielder and one of the best all-around baseball players. With 660 home runs and 156.1 WAR, he ranks sixth among the all-time greats on both lists.
Barry Bonds is the homers leader, managing 73 home runs in 2001. He is the sole laureate of the 500-homer, 500-steal club.
While Alex Rodrigues wouldn’t make it to the top baseball players list by many stats, he is currently the richest one. His net worth is estimated to be around $350 million.
MLB – Important Dates
And finally, to wrap things up, here are some notable events in the history of Major League Baseball, as well as a few that predate it!
- June 19th, 1846: The first official baseball game takes place in Hoboken, New Jersey; New York Niners bested Knickerbockers 23:1.
- 1869: The Cincinnati Red Stockings becomes the first professional baseball team.
- February 2nd, 1876: The National League is established in Manhattan, New York.
- January 28th, 1901; The American League is formed in Chicago in an attempt to break the National League’s monopoly on baseball games
- 1908: The Chicago Cubs win their first World Series title, and they wouldn’t win it again until 2016
- 1920: Yankees buy Babe Ruth from the Red Sox
- 1960: Nerve-wracking World Series sees one of the most monumental home runs by Bill Mazeroski; Pittsburgh Pirates defeated New York Yankees
- April 29th, 1986: Roger Clemens becomes the first pitcher to strike out 20 in a single game
Major League Baseball is the oldest professional sports league in North America. It was founded in 1876 and has undergone many changes since. The MLB has seen the number of games increase several times over the years, and the changes neither start nor end there.
Baseball is among the most popular sports in the United States, and it will keep evolving. To learn more curious facts about this game and the MLB, check out PlayToday’s MLB statistics.
Why do MLB teams play 162 games?
First, baseball is a no-contact sport, which reduces the risk of injury compared to other sports. Second, many players are involved, and finding the best team lineup requires consistency.
When did MLB switch to 162 games?
MLB officially adopted the 162-game schedule in 1969. If you’re wondering how many games in an MLB season each team played in the past, they played 112 games from 1884 to 1892, switching to 154 in 1892.
How many MLB teams are there?
There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball. Of those 30, 29 are from the US, and one is from Canada.