2018 Major League Baseball season

2018 MLB season
LeagueMajor League Baseball
SportBaseball
DurationMarch 29 – October 28, 2018
Number of games162
Number of teams30
Draft
Top draft pickCasey Mize
Picked byDetroit Tigers
Regular season
Season MVPAL: Mookie Betts (BOS)
NL: Christian Yelich (MIL)
League Postseason
AL championsBoston Red Sox
  AL runners-upHouston Astros
NL championsLos Angeles Dodgers
  NL runners-upMilwaukee Brewers
World Series
ChampionsBoston Red Sox
  Runners-upLos Angeles Dodgers
World Series MVPSteve Pearce (BOS)
MLB seasons

The 2018 Major League Baseball season began on March 29, 2018. The regular season ended on October 1, extended a day for tiebreaker games to decide the winners of the National League Central and National League West divisions. The postseason began on October 2. The 2018 World Series began on October 23, and ended on October 28 with the Boston Red Sox defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win their ninth World Series championship.

The 89th Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held on July 17 at Nationals Park, the home of the Washington Nationals. The American League won 8–6 in 10 innings.

Schedule[]

As has been the case since 2013, all teams will play their four division opponents 19 times each for a total of 76 games. They will play six or seven games against each of the other ten same-league opponents for a total of 66 games, and 20 interleague games. The primary interleague match-ups are AL East vs NL East, AL Central vs NL Central, and AL West vs NL West. Since "natural rivalry" matchups are part of the three-year divisional rotation, the schedule format for interleague games will be different from previous years. The 20 interleague games each team will play will consist of two three-game series (one home, one away) against its natural rival (total of six games), two two-game series (one home, one away) against each team for two other opponents (total of eight games), and a single three-game series against each team for the last two (one home, one away; total of six games).

Under the new collective bargaining agreement reached in December 2016, the regular season was extended to 187 days in order to add four additional off-days for all teams. All teams were scheduled to play Opening Day, March 29 – the earliest domestic start of a regular season in league history until the 2019 season. The Sunday night game before the All-Star Game was replaced by a single, nationally-televised game on the Thursday after the All-Star Game (which for 2018, was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs), before all other teams returned from break the next day.[1][2][3]

The Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians played a two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 17 and 18,[4] while the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres played a three-game series at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, from May 4 to 6.[5] The 2018 MLB Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, coinciding with the Little League World Series, returned to the schedule. It was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets on August 19.[6]

Rule changes[]

Beginning in the 2018 season, MLB implemented new pace of play rules, which include limiting the number of mound visits for each team to six per nine innings. Teams will receive an additional visit for every extra inning played.[7]

Standings[]

Division[]

American League National League
AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
(1) Boston Red Sox 108 54 0.667 57–24 51–30
(4) New York Yankees 100 62 0.617 8 53–28 47–34
Tampa Bay Rays 90 72 0.556 18 51–30 39–42
Toronto Blue Jays 73 89 0.451 35 40–41 33–48
Baltimore Orioles 47 115 0.290 61 28–53 19–62


AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
(3) Cleveland Indians 91 71 0.562 49–32 42–39
Minnesota Twins 78 84 0.481 13 49–32 29–52
Detroit Tigers 64 98 0.395 27 38–43 26–55
Chicago White Sox 62 100 0.383 29 30–51 32–49
Kansas City Royals 58 104 0.358 33 32–49 26–55


AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
(2) Houston Astros 103 59 0.636 46–35 57–24
(5) Oakland Athletics 97 65 0.599 6 50–31 47–34
Seattle Mariners 89 73 0.549 14 45–36 44–37
Los Angeles Angels 80 82 0.494 23 42–39 38–43
Texas Rangers 67 95 0.414 36 34–47 33–48


NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
(3) Atlanta Braves 90 72 0.556 43–38 47–34
Washington Nationals 82 80 0.506 8 41–40 41–40
Philadelphia Phillies 80 82 0.494 10 49–32 31–50
New York Mets 77 85 0.475 13 37–44 40–41
Miami Marlins 63 98 0.391 26½ 38–43 25–55


NL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
(1) Milwaukee Brewers 96 67 0.589 51–30 45–37
(4) Chicago Cubs 95 68 0.583 1 51–31 44–37
St. Louis Cardinals 88 74 0.543 43–38 45–36
Pittsburgh Pirates 82 79 0.509 13 44–36 38–43
Cincinnati Reds 67 95 0.414 28½ 37–44 30–51


NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers 92 71 0.564 45–37 47–34
(5) Colorado Rockies 91 72 0.558 1 47–34 44–38
Arizona Diamondbacks 82 80 0.506 40–41 42–39
San Francisco Giants 73 89 0.451 18½ 42–39 31–50
San Diego Padres 66 96 0.407 25½ 31–50 35–46


Tiebreaker games[]

Two "game 163" matchups were played to determine postseason seeding, as both the National League Central and National League West divisions ended the 162-game regular season schedule with two teams tied for first. Both games were played on October 1, with the winning teams advancing to the 2018 National League Division Series and the losers facing off in the Wild Card Game. The Brewers beat the Cubs for the NL Central division title, and the West was won by the Dodgers over the Rockies.

Postseason[]

Bracket[]

  Wild Card Games
(ALWCG, NLWCG)
Division Series
(ALDS, NLDS)
League Championship Series
(ALCS, NLCS)
World Series
                                     
    1 Boston Red Sox 3  
4 New York Yankees 1     4 New York Yankees 1    
  1 Boston Red Sox 4  
5 Oakland Athletics 0     American League
  2 Houston Astros 1    
2 Houston Astros 3
   
  3 Cleveland Indians 0  
    AL1 Boston Red Sox 4
  NL2 Los Angeles Dodgers 1
    1 Milwaukee Brewers 3    
4 Chicago Cubs 0     5 Colorado Rockies 0    
  1 Milwaukee Brewers 3
5 Colorado Rockies 1     National League
  2 Los Angeles Dodgers 4  
2 Los Angeles Dodgers 3
   
  3 Atlanta Braves 1  


Managerial changes[]

General managers[]

Offseason[]

Team Former GM Reason For Leaving New GM Story/Accomplishments
Atlanta Braves John Coppolella Resigned Alex Anthopoulos John Coppolella resigned from the Braves on October 2, 2017, because of a Major League Baseball investigation regarding signing bonuses of international prospects.[8] On November 12, 2017, Alex Anthopoulos was hired as the new general manager of the team.[9] On November 21, 2017, Coppolella was banned for life from baseball as a result of the investigation. The Braves were penalized with a loss of 13 prospects and a 2018 Rule 4 draft (third round) pick, and the league levied other penalties against the team for the next two international signing periods.

In-season[]

Date Team Former GM New GM Reason for leaving Notes/Accomplishments
June 26 New York Mets Sandy Alderson Brodie Van Wagenen Leave of Absence On June 26, 2018, Alderson took a permanent leave of absence due to recurrence of cancer. He was hired as general manager in 2010 and saw the team win the National League Pennant in 2015.[10] On October 28, 2018, after having three interims finish the rest of the season, the Mets agreed to have former agent Brodie Van Wagenen be their 13th general manager in franchise history.[11]
September 24 San Francisco Giants Bobby Evans TBD Fired The Giants fired Bobby Evans after almost four seasons as General Manager. The Giants made the playoffs in 2016, but are 166–224 (.426) since taking a major league-best 57–33 (.633) record into the All-Star break that year.[12]

Field managers[]

Offseason[]

Team Former manager Reason for leaving New manager Story/Accomplishments
Detroit Tigers Brad Ausmus Contract not renewed Ron Gardenhire The Tigers announced on September 22, 2017, that Ausmus' contract would not be renewed. Ausmus compiled a 314–332 (.486) record in four years as manager with one playoff appearance.[13] The Tigers hired former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on October 19, 2017. As the Twins' manager from 2002 to 2014 he compiled a record of 1068–1039 (.507), and 6–21 (.222) in six post-season appearances. He also won AL Manager of the Year in 2010.[14]
Philadelphia Phillies Pete Mackanin Reassigned Gabe Kapler It was announced on October 1, 2017, that Mackanin would be removed as manager; however, he managed the final three games of the 2017 season. Mackanin had a record of 174–238 (.422) in his two and a half seasons as manager with no playoff appearances. It also was announced that he would remain with the organization as a special assistant to the general manager.[15] On October 29, 2017, the Phillies announced the hire of former Dodgers' Director of Development Gabe Kapler. He had no previous major league managerial or coaching experience.[16]
New York Mets Terry Collins Retired Mickey Callaway Collins announced on October 1, 2017, that he would retire after the last game of the season and move to the Mets' front office. Collins finished with a 551–583 (.486) record in seven years with club, with two playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016, in which they lost to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series and lost the Wild Card to the San Francisco Giants in the following season.[17] The Mets named Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as their new manager on October 22, 2017. Callaway had no previous managerial experience.[18]
Boston Red Sox John Farrell Fired Alex Cora Farrell was fired on October 11, 2017. Farrell during his five years as manager compiled a 432–378 (.533) record and earned three division titles in 2013, 2016 and 2017. He led the Red Sox to the 2013 World Series title.[19] Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora was named manager on October 22, 2017, and formally assumed the role after the Astros' win in the 2017 World Series.[20] He had no previous managerial experience.
Washington Nationals Dusty Baker Contract not renewed Dave Martinez The Nationals announced on October 20, 2017, that Baker would not be returning for the 2018 season. Baker led the Nationals to the postseason in each of his two seasons with the club but couldn't get past the NLDS. The Nationals were 192–132 (.593) under Baker.[21] The Nationals hired Dave Martinez to be their new manager on October 29, 2017. Martinez was previously the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs and had no managerial experience.[22]
New York Yankees Joe Girardi Aaron Boone The Yankees announced on October 26, 2017, that Girardi would not return for the 2018 season. Girardi led the Yankees to three division titles and one World Series championship during his ten years of managing the club. The Yankees were 910–710 (.562) under Girardi.[23] On December 1, 2017, radio announcer Aaron Boone was hired as the team's new manager.[24] He had no previous coaching or managerial experience.

In–season[]

Team Former manager Interim manager Reason for leaving New manager Story/Accomplishments
Cincinnati Reds Bryan Price Jim Riggleman Fired David Bell Price was fired on April 19 after starting the season with a 3–15 (.167) record. In four seasons, Price finished with a 279–387 (.419) record with no playoff appearances. Bench coach Jim Riggleman was selected as the interim manager. His previous managerial experience included stints with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners, and Nationals. He had been a manager in the Reds' minor league system since 2012.[25] On October 21, 2018, the Reds named David Bell as their new manager, signing him to a three year contract with a club option for 2022.[26]
St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny Mike Shildt Mike Shildt Matheny was fired on July 14 after starting the season with a 47–46 (.505) record. In seven seasons, Matheny finished with a 591–473 (.555) record with four playoff appearances, winning the National League pennant in 2013. Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also dismissed, and bench coach Mike Shildt was named interim manager. Shildt had no major league managing experience but had managed in the Cardinals minor league system.[27] On August 28, Shildt's "interim" title was dropped as he was named the new Cardinals manager.[28]
Texas Rangers Jeff Banister Don Wakamatsu Chris Woodward Banister was fired on September 21 after four seasons with a record of 325–313 (.509) record. Banister finished in first place in his first two seasons as manager and amassed a 2–6 (.250) in the playoffs. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu was selected as the interim manager.[29] On November 2, it was announced that Los Angeles Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward would be named the Rangers manager.[30]

League leaders[]

American League[]

National League[]

Milestones[]

Batters[]


Pitchers[]

No-hitters[]

Other pitching accomplishments[]

Miscellaneous[]

Awards and honors[]

Regular season[]

Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards
BBWAA Award National League American League
Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL) Shohei Ohtani (LAA)
Cy Young Award Jacob deGrom (NYM) Blake Snell (TB)
Manager of the Year Brian Snitker (ATL) Bob Melvin (OAK)
Most Valuable Player Christian Yelich (MIL) Mookie Betts (BOS)
Gold Glove Awards
Position National League American League
Pitcher Zack Greinke (ARI) Dallas Keuchel (HOU)
Catcher Yadier Molina (STL) Salvador Perez (KC)
1st Base Freddie Freeman (ATL)
Anthony Rizzo (CHC)
Matt Olson (OAK)
2nd Base DJ LeMahieu (COL) Ian Kinsler (BOS)/(LAA)
3rd Base Nolan Arenado (COL) Matt Chapman (OAK)
Shortstop Nick Ahmed (ARI) Andrelton Simmons (LAA)
Left field Corey Dickerson (PIT) Alex Gordon (KC)
Center field Ender Inciarte (ATL) Jackie Bradley, Jr. (BOS)
Right field Nick Markakis (ATL) Mookie Betts (BOS)
Silver Slugger Awards
Pitcher/Designated Hitter German Marquez (COL) J.D. Martinez (BOS)
Catcher J.T. Realmuto (MIA) Salvador Perez (KC)
1st Base Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) Jose Abreu (CWS)
2nd Base Javier Baez (CHC) Jose Altuve (HOU)
3rd Base Nolan Arenado (COL) Jose Ramirez (CLE)
Shortstop Trevor Story (COL) Francisco Lindor (CLE)
Outfield Nick Markakis (ATL) Mookie Betts (BOS)
Outfield David Peralta (ARI) J.D. Martinez (BOS)
Outfield Christian Yelich (MIL) Mike Trout (LAA)

Other awards[]

Fielding Bible Awards
Position Player
Pitcher Zack Greinke (ARI)
Catcher Jeff Mathis (ARI)
1st Base Matt Olson (OAK)
2nd Base Kolten Wong (STL)
3rd Base Matt Chapman (OAK)
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons (LAA)
Left Field Alex Gordon (KC)
Center Field Lorenzo Cain (MIL)
Right Field Mookie Betts (BOS)
Multi-position Javier Baez (CHC)

Monthly awards[]

Uniforms[]

Wholesale changes[]

The Detroit Tigers modified the Olde English 'D' on the home jersey to match the 'D' on the cap.[87] Other than a one-season hiatus of 'D' usage in 1960,[88] this is the first major change to the Tigers' home jersey since 1934.[89]

The Cleveland Indians have confirmed this will be the final season using the Chief Wahoo logo on its uniforms. It will be replaced at the start of the 2019 season.[90] The team wore a Wahoo-less uniform through their September 6-9 series with the Blue Jays, as the team had been sued unsuccessfully by a group in Ontario in October 2016 to prevent the team from donning the logo during Toronto home games through the 2016 ALCS.[91]

Alternate changes[]

The Oakland Athletics added a kelly green alternate jersey to commemorate the franchise's 50th anniversary in Oakland. The uniforms are used during every Friday home game.[92]

The Washington Nationals added a second navy blue jersey to commemorate the team's hosting of the 2018 All-Star Game. The uniform features the script "Nationals" in white with red trim and numerals in red with white trim. [93]

Both the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates replaced their camouflage uniforms with new white alternate jerseys featuring olive and military green logos, letters and numbers.[94][95]

Anniversaries and special events[]

The following teams will wear commemorative patches for special occasions:[citation needed]

Team Special occasion
All Teams "MSD" patch in memory of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (February 23)
#42 patch for Jackie Robinson Day (April 15)
Pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness (May 13, Mother's Day)
"Play Ball" patch in partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball (June 2–3)
Blue ribbons for prostate cancer awareness (June 17, Father's Day)
American flag patch as well as all teams wearing patriotic themed jerseys, undershirts and socks for Independence Day. (July 2–4)
Gold ribbons for childhood cancer awareness (August 31)
Atlanta Braves 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (April 4)[96]
Arizona Diamondbacks 20th anniversary of the franchise
Chicago Cubs "MSD" patch in memory of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (March 29)
Cleveland Indians Jim Thome number retirement (August 18)
Colorado Rockies 25th anniversary of the franchise
Detroit Tigers Jack Morris number retirement (August 12)
Alan Trammell number retirement (August 26)
50th anniversary of the 1968 World Championship (September 7-9)
Houston Astros 2017 World Series Championship (April 2)
Kansas City Royals 50th season of the franchise
Los Angeles Dodgers 60th anniversary in Los Angeles
Miami Marlins 25th anniversary of the franchise (began as the Florida Marlins)
"MSD" patch in memory of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (March 29-April 1)
Milwaukee Brewers "Nellie" patch in memory of Dave Nelson (June 21–24)
New York Mets Autograph patch in memory of Rusty Staub (from March 31 onwards)
Oakland Athletics 50th anniversary in Oakland
Philadelphia Phillies 10th Anniversary of 2008 World Series Team
San Diego Padres KT and RP patches in memory of Kevin Towers and Rob Picciolo (May 12, and other Wednesday home games)
San Francisco Giants 60th anniversary in San Francisco
St. Louis Cardinals #2 patch in memory of Red Schoendienst (from June 11 onwards)
Tampa Bay Rays 20th anniversary of the franchise (originally Devil Rays)
Toronto Blue Jays #32 patch in memory of Roy Halladay
Washington Nationals 2018 All Star Game

Other uniforms[]

As is the custom for the reigning World Series champions, the Astros wore gold-lettered uniforms at their home opener April 2 and April 3.[97]

Players, managers and coaches wore #42 on April 15, the 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in the majors.[98]

The Orioles wore special caps and green uniforms on April 22, Earth Day.[99]

The Reds and Diamondbacks wore Spanish language "Los Rojos" and "Los D-backs" uniforms May 5, Cinco de Mayo.[100] The Diamondbacks wore them again September 8. The Reds wore them again September 28.

The Royals wore an alternate uniform with a crown atop the R, and a cap with a crown instead of the "KC", on June 30 in Seattle.[101]

The Blue Jays wore red uniforms on July 1, Canada Day. They wore a cap with a gold maple leaf, as well.[102]

All US-based teams wore Stars and Stripes caps and uniforms from July 2–4, ending with Independence Day. Teams wore caps denoting what league they play for (there were nine interleague series during the time period).

For the second straight year, MLB sponsored Players Weekend, an event for which all teams wore special uniforms with design cues reminiscent of typical Little League uniforms. The event was held August 24 to 26, again coinciding with the final weekend of the Little League World Series.[103]

The Royals wore Spanish-language "Los Reales" uniforms September 1.

The Orioles wore Braille uniforms September 18 to mark the 40th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind's headquarters moving to Baltimore. They became the first pro sports team ever to wear such uniforms. The uniforms had the name "Orioles" in Braille, and the players' last names were in Braille.[104]

Throwbacks[]

The Phillies will wear their 1980s powder blue uniforms for select Thursday home games.[105]

The Athletics and White Sox wore 1968 throwbacks April 17 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Athletics' first season in Oakland.[106]

The Tigers and Royals wore Negro Leagues throwbacks May 6. The Tigers wore the uniforms of the Detroit Stars, and the Royals wore the uniforms of the Kansas City Monarchs.[107]

The Padres wore 1998 throwbacks May 12 to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1998 NL title.[108] They will wear them again at select Wednesday games.

The Royals wore 1969 throwbacks May 19 to mark the franchise's 50th season. The uniforms also had the MLB 100th anniversary patch, which all teams wore that season.[109]

The White Sox and Brewers wore 1980s throwbacks June 2 and 3.[110]

The Marlins wore 1993 throwbacks June 8 to 10 to mark their 25th anniversary.[111]

The Braves wore 1974 throwbacks June 22 and 23 to celebrate Hank Aaron Heritage Weekend.[112]

The Mariners marked the 20th anniversary of their 1998 "Turn Ahead the Clock" promotion by wearing the uniforms from that game June 30 against Kansas City.[113]

The Brewers and Pirates wore Negro League throwbacks July 13. The Brewers wore the uniforms of the Milwaukee Bears, and the Pirates wore the uniforms of the Pittsburgh Crawfords.[114]

The Brewers wore Milwaukee Bears uniforms August 2. Their opponents, the Rockies, wore their regular uniforms.

The Mariners and Astros wore throwbacks on August 10; the Mariners wore their 1979 throwbacks, and the Astros wore their "Tequila Sunrise" uniforms.[115]

The Angels wore California Angels throwbacks from 1976-1985 on August 27.[116]

The Rays wore their 1998 inaugural throwbacks on March 31 against the Boston Red Sox, on June 9 against the Seattle Mariners, and on June 23 against the New York Yankees, along with September 8 against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Tigers wore their 1968 road uniforms September 8 at home to mark the 50th anniversary of their winning the 1968 World Series title.[117]

Broadcast rights[]

Television[]

National[]

This was the fifth year of the current eight-year deals with Fox Sports, ESPN and TBS. Fox aired eight weeks of baseball on Saturday Nights leading up to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game which also aired on Fox. Fox also televised Saturday afternoon games for the last four weeks of the regular season. FS1 televised games on Tuesday and on Saturdays both during the afternoon and night. ESPN televised games on its flagship telecast Sunday Night Baseball as well as Monday and Wednesday Nights. TBS televised Sunday afternoon games for the last 13 weeks of the regular season. Fox and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts were exclusive; all other national telecasts were subject to local blackout.

TBS televised the American League Wild Card Game, Division Series and televised the Championship Series. ESPN televised the National League Wild Card, along with the National League West and Central tie-breaker games. FS1 and MLB Network televised the National League Division Series. Fox and FS1 will televise the National League Championship Series. The World Series will air exclusively on Fox for the 19th consecutive year.

Local[]

On September 6, Fox Sports Detroit suspended Detroit Tigers play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba and color commentator Rod Allen for the remainder of the season after an alleged physical altercation that occurred on September 4, in which Allen reportedly placed Impemba in a choke hold at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field after a game they called between the Tigers and the Chicago White Sox, a claim Allen's agent has denied. Backup announcers Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson replaced them for the rest of the season. It was later announced that Impemba and Allen's contracts were not renewed for future seasons, ending their 17 years together as broadcast partners.[118][119]

Radio[]

Local[]

National[]

Digital[]

Nine regular season games were broadcast exclusively in the United States on Facebook Watch, beginning with the April 4 game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.[131]

Retirements[]

Retired numbers[]

See also[]

References[]

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