FanPost

What if the MLB adopted a two league / four division model similar to the NFL

oth sides want expanded playoffs, most of what is discussed is pretty clumsy.

I wasted some time this morning with the idea "What if the MLB adopted a two league / four division model similar to the NFL?"

The good news about this idea: Eight divisions is a good number to create an expanded playoff system that includes three & seven game series with all division champions (no wild cards). This makes a lot of sense

The less good news: MLB has two fewer teams than the NFL - so two divisions will have only three teams.

Assuming that the MLB adopts the DH in the NL (which I hate, but I think is going to happen), we can move teams around without being in different rules sets / forced restructuring of lineup (that isn't happening anyway). But I'm going to set some rules

The rules:

1) Move as few teams as possible, but it's okay to move between leagues

2) League balance - not all big or powerful in one league vs the other. 15 teams in each league - each league must has one three team division

3) The regional names aren't a joke (except when following the NFL). Get regional teams closer together as possible (enabling car/train travel)

4) Except in strict geographic or market size determined groupings. Try to get same city teams (NYC, LA, SF/O) in different leagues which enables (rare but fun) subway series and doesn't have a good/bad team in one town as much - it's a tradition.

There are some regional "givens" - if you are going to have a team in Atlanta and division called "Southern" ... duh. and Florida is South of Atlanta. And some regional opinions: It's okay for Cincinatti, St. Louis, & Kansas City to be called "Southern".

Align as closely as possible with the NFL

- this is obvious and somebody is going to like it - I think it's stupid

American League National League
East East
Boston AL East NY (Mets) NL East
Miami NL East Philadelphia NL East
New York (Y) AL East Texas AL West
Toronto AL East Washington NL East
West West
Colorado NL West Los Angeles (D) NL West
Kansas City AL Central San Francisco NL West
Oakland AL West Seattle AL West
San Diego NL West St Louis NL Central
North North
Baltimore AL East Chicago (WS) AL Central
Cincinatti NL Central Detroit AL Central
Cleveland AL Central Milwaulkee NL Central
Pittsburgh NL Central Minnesota AL Central
South South
Chicago (C) NL Central Arizona NL West
Houston AL West Atlanta NL East
Los Angeles (A) AL West Tampa Bay AL East

Maintain rivalries

this is obviously subjective and if you think you can do better - go for it in the comments. Phillies fans may like this model as it puts the Phillies in a three team division

American League National League
East East
Baltimore AL East NY (Mets) NL East
Boston AL East Philadelphia NL East
New York (Y) AL East Washington NL East
Toronto AL East West
West Arizona NL West
Los Angeles (A) AL West Los Angeles (D) NL West
Oakland AL West San Diego NL West
Seattle AL West San Francisco NL West
North North
Chicago (WS) AL Central Chicago (C) NL Central
Cleveland AL Central Colorado NL West
Detroit AL Central Milwaulkee NL Central
Minnesota AL Central Pittsburgh NL Central
South South
Houston AL West Atlanta NL East
Kansas City AL Central Cincinatti NL Central
Tampa Bay AL East Miami NL East
Texas AL West St Louis NL Central

Geographic

obviously creates cross town rivalries of teams in the same cities, etc..

American League National League
East East
Boston AL East Baltimore AL East
New York (Y) AL East Philadelphia NL East
NY (Mets) NL East Washington NL East
Toronto AL East West
West Arizona NL West
Colorado NL West Los Angeles (A) AL West
Oakland AL West Los Angeles (D) NL West
San Francisco NL West San Diego NL West
Seattle AL West North
North Chicago (C) NL Central
Cleveland AL Central Chicago (WS) AL Central
Detroit AL Central Milwaulkee NL Central
Pittsburgh NL Central Minnesota AL Central
South South
Houston AL West Atlanta NL East
Kansas City AL Central Cincinatti NL Central
St Louis NL Central Miami NL East
Texas AL West Tampa Bay AL East

Market size

the idea here was to give smaller sized markets a chance by putting them in the same division with other smaller sized teams

American League National League
East Pop (Ms) East Pop (Ms)
Toronto 5.93 New York (Y) 20.1
Boston 4.94 NY (Mets) 20.1
Baltimore 2.84 Philadelphia 6.25
West Washington 6
Los Angeles (A) 18.71 West
Los Angeles (D) 18.71 Oakland 4.69
Arizona 4.95 Seattle 4.02
San Francisco 4.69 San Diego 3.29
North Colorado 2.96
Chicago (C) 9.46 North
Chicago (WS) 9.46 Pittsburgh 2.37
Detroit 4.39 Cleveland 2.04
Minnesota 3.69 Milwaulkee 1.57
South South
Tampa Bay 3.14 Texas 7.64
St Louis 2.82 Houston 7.12
Cincinatti 2.23 Miami 6.14
Kansas City 2.17 Atlanta 6.09

Power Rankings

I'm not a big fan of this idea as power is temporal and changes - but I took the 12 year W/L record & two year run differential as those were handy stats I had around by team - I'm sure the reader can suggest a better measure, etc.. Beyond a dozen years I don't see anything as very relevant for current day performance. Powerful teams with powerful teams, less powerful teams with less powerful teams given the regional assignments, etc..

American League National League
East < is better East < is better
New York (Y) 4 Washington 8
Toronto 5 Philadelphia 9
Boston 5 NY (Mets) 9
West Baltimore 14
Los Angeles (A) West
Seattle 9 Los Angeles (D) 2
Colorado 11 San Francisco 4
Arizona 13 Oakland A 5
North San Diego 9
Milwaukee 6 North
Cleveland 6 Pittsburgh 10
Chicago (WS) 7 Detroit 11
Chicago (C) 9 Minnesota 12
South South
Cincinatti 8 Tampa Bay 3
Texas 11 Atlanta 4
Kansas City 13 St. Louis 5
Miami 13 Houston 6

My recommendation:

sort of like the "maintain rivalries" with some geographic corrections

American League National League
East East
Boston AL East Baltimore AL East
New York (Y) AL East NY (Mets) NL East
Toronto AL East Philadelphia NL East
West Washington NL East
Colorado NL West West
Los Angeles (A) AL West Arizona NL West
Oakland AL West Los Angeles (D) NL West
Seattle AL West San Diego NL West
North San Francisco NL West
Chicago (WS) AL Central North
Cleveland AL Central Chicago (C) NL Central
Detroit AL Central Cincinatti NL Central
Minnesota AL Central Milwaulkee NL Central
South Pittsburgh NL Central
Houston AL West South
Kansas City AL Central Atlanta NL East
St Louis NL Central Miami NL East
Texas AL West Tampa Bay AL East

Comments very welcome - sorry if I gave up on trying to make the formatting look better (it's much better than the first cut)