184 games (and counting?): How MLB's cancellations could rock the playoff races

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

One hundred eighty-four games. So far.

That's the number of games that have been lopped off the schedule after MLB's second announcement of cancellations on Wednesday. Of the 2,430 originally slated contests, 7.6% of them are already gone. We can only hope the number doesn't go even higher.

For now, if an agreement is reached post haste, the plan is for each team to pick up its regular-season schedule with the beginning of its fifth series. Opening Day is now slated for April 14. Cutting four series per team might be the simplest way to go about it, but it's far from ideal. That's not just because it means less baseball, but because the cancellations will affect each team a little bit differently.

There is an awkward reality about this latest shortening of the 2022 season: This version of the remaining schedule is fairer than the one that would have been in effect had the original list of 91 cancellations been left to stand.

Most teams begin a season with a couple of series at home, then go on the road for a couple of series. In the first list of axed games, a number of teams were losing either all home or all road games, creating a stark disparity through the majors. Most, but not quite all, of that home-road disparity has disappeared.

How big of a remaining effect might all this have?