Owners contend that ommissioner Rob Manfred can seek to unilaterally impose a shortened season if the union won’t budge from its prorated salary demands, and it appears that’s where they’re leaning, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Either a 48- to 54-game season with fully prorated salaries or an 82-game season at less than prorated salaries are under consideration.
A 54 game season is essentially 2 months of baseball. The below teams highlighted in red and blue would be playoff eligible at the end of 2 months of play last season.
Good news for Cubs, bad news the Nationals and Cardinals. With so few games the field will be tight which may result in many 3 way or more ties. A baseball season is a 6 month marathon that consumes summer with a fall finale. A two month season is like running 9 miles and calling that a marathon. Washington had a real team WAA of -9 at the end of two months of play which wasn’t good. They had plenty of time to recover adding +6 WAA each of the next 4 months; gaining momentum that propelled them through playoff season. Gaining +6 for a full 6 months puts a team at 99 wins at the end of a season.
After only 54 games this model may be some use in handicapping playoffs but only as a guide.