It’s no secret that there are many games in a baseball season! In Major League Baseball (MLB), the American and National leagues make up thirty teams, each playing 162 games throughout the season. Naturally, this has led many baseball fans to question why baseball has so many games.
As Major League Baseball expanded, more games were added to accommodate the participating teams, allowing them to play against other teams more than once. More games are also needed for accurate baseball statistics. Since baseball is a non-contact sport, players can play more games per season.
If you’ve ever found yourself questioning why there are so many baseball games in each season, we’ll explain everything you want to know! Once we’ve outlined seven of the major reasons baseball requires more games per season, we’ll discuss how many scheduled baseball games there are in each MLB season.
7 Reasons Baseball Has So Many Games
If you want to know why baseball has so many games, here are seven of the top reasons there are so many games during each MLB season!
#1: Baseball Is A Non-Contact Sport
Baseball is a non-contact sport, which means the players are separated, making it practically impossible for them to make physical contact throughout the game. In baseball, the teams are separated while one team bats and the other fields.
Baseball players need fewer rest days between games than sportsmen who play contact sports. While baseball is still a very physical sport, the non-contact nature of the game means that players can handle playing many games during a season.
#2: Many Teams Participate In Baseball
Before the 1961 MLB season, each team played between 140 and 154 games every season. However, as the league expanded, more games were needed to accommodate all the participating teams. Luckily, the MLB eventually settled on a suitable number of games per season.
In 1961, the American League started playing a 162-game season as we know it today. The National League adopted the 162-game season shortly after. Since this change, all Major Baseball League teams have played a total of 162 games per MLB season. The only exception in recent history was the shortened 60-game season in 2020.
#3: Tradition Dictates Long Baseball Seasons
Above, we mentioned that the MLB settled on 162-game seasons for teams back in 1961. Since this schedule proved popular, it’s stayed the same. Since then, despite the shorter 2020 season, the MLB has sought to keep the number of games per team capped at 162 per season.
Ultimately, one of the main reasons that there are so many games in each season is that tradition dictates these long seasons. However, despite adding more teams since 1961, creative scheduling has allowed the MLB seasons to remain capped at this existing limit.
#4: Teams Can Compete More Than Once
The current MLB schedule allows teams to compete more than once. Each team will play a total of nineteen games against each of the four opponents in the team’s division. In addition to this, six games are played against four opponents, with another seven games played against the other six opponents from other divisions in the team’s league.
In baseball, it’s notoriously difficult to judge how well teams have played based on just one or two games. By having teams compete against one another multiple times throughout the season, fans can properly judge a team’s performance. Ultimately, this helps determine which team will advance to the season finals.
#5: More Games Improve Player Statistics
This reason is closely linked to the one we discussed above. In baseball, more games are required to properly determine which teams – and which players – are the best. For instance, a player will not be considered a good hitter after one good hit.
Instead, a player must get a base hit in three out of ten at-bats to be considered a good hitter. Luckily, since there are so many games in the season, each player gets ample opportunity to shine. The sheer number of baseball games played throughout an MBL season results in more accurate player and team statistics.
#6: Every Baseball Fan Can See Their Favorite Team Play
If there’s one thing that Americans love, it’s baseball! More games allow teams to compete more than once, giving all baseball fans across America a chance to see their favorite team play. Since the MLB settled on each team playing 162 games throughout the season, there’s been no shortage of annual games to attend.
This MLB season’s design has proved popular since it gives Americans numerous chances to support their chosen club throughout the year. However, the large number of games played in each Major League Baseball season also means fans and supporters don’t need to watch every game to support their teams.
#7: Players Can Stay Fit During The Off-Season
While baseball isn’t a contact sport, players still need to stay fit to play this game. Since there are so many games throughout each MBL season, players aren’t given too much downtime. Ultimately, this helps players stay fit during the off-season. Generally, an MBL season starts in late March or early April and runs until late September or early October.
How Many Baseball Games Are In Each MLB Season?
As we mentioned, each Major League Baseball team plays 162 games each season. The American League (AL) has 15 teams, with the National League comprising 15 teams. Since each of the thirty teams needs to play 162 games throughout the season, with two teams playing at a time, that results in a whopping 2,430 scheduled baseball games during every MLB season.
As Major League Baseball expanded and more teams were added, more games were added to accommodate all the teams. More games also allowed each team to compete more than once and allowed accurate statistics to be gathered. Since baseball is a non-contact sport, players can play more games per season, giving all MLB fans a chance to see their team play.