The Major League Baseball regular season is composed of 162 games played during the year against the 30 teams in the league. Since 1903, MLB has been divided into two leagues, the American League (AL) and the National League (NL).
Both leagues signed a national agreement in 1903 to be combined under the MLB banner and start a championship title game known as the World Series, which has the best team of the AL face the best team from the NL.
While MLB has changed a lot over the years, with more teams and games being played now than back in 1903, it has still been a pastime sport that all Americans love and enjoy to this day.
MLB Playoff Format Throughout the Years
Back in 1903, there were no playoff games, as only the team with the best record in both the AL and NL would face each other in the World Series.
But when 1969 came around, MLB added a two-team playoff and split teams into two separate conferences within the AL and NL.
Both leagues got an Eastern Division and Western Division, with the team with the best record in each division facing each other in a best of five playoff game, with the winner advancing to the World Series.
The two-team playoff would last until 1994 when MLB changed the number of divisions in each league from two to three.
The change allowed the top team in each division to go to the MLB playoffs and added one extra team that had the best record in the league but didn’t win their division.
The format would remain in play until a new agreement changed the playoff format again for MLB.
In 2012, MLB added a one-game playoff between the two teams with the best record that didn’t win their division.
The winner of the one-game playoff would then face the highest-seeded division team in a best two out of three, while the other two divisional winners faced each other in the same format.
For 2022, there have been talks into altering the playoff format yet again.
MLB World Series
Baseball’s championship game, the World Series, puts the best of the AL against the best of the NL in a best out of seven series.
When the World Series first began in 1903, the World Series was a best out of nine series between the best AL and NL teams.
The format would go to seven in 1905; the two teams set to play the 1904 World Series never played due to the NL champion New York Giants’ refusal to play the game.
The World Series would go back to a best out of nine format for three years from 1919 to 1921 before going back to the best out of seven format in 1922.
Outside of the playoffs, some of the most exciting games are rivalry games that happen throughout the regular season.
The most famous rivalry game in all of baseball is that of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The rivalry between the two teams has been around since the early 1900s and continues today.
While the two teams have forgone name changes in their early years, the rivalry has stayed with both teams through these years.
MLB baseball has what is known as the All-Star game midway through the baseball season.
The game puts the best players from all the AL teams against the best players from all the teams in the NL in a one-game matchup.
The game was thought to have lost some of its luster during the start of the 2000s, which prompted MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to raise the stakes for the game.
Starting in 2003, the winning league of the All-Star game would receive home-field advantage for the World Series, a move that was seen to help bring back a competitive spirit back to the All-Star game.
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