# What would happen if every MLB team finished 81-81?

How would the tie-breaker work? I understand that this highly unlikely.

I asked a recent question about the holes if any in MLB baseball rules, the way I was treated, you’d think I denied man went to the moon.

And I never even got to extend the question to league rules, so good luck with this

There is no solution offered for more than 4 tied teams.

There, there.

If you hadn’t made the mistake of leaving New Jersey, you’d be a lot more thick-skinned about that kind of treatment.

You asked whether it was possible to verify mathematically that there are no holes, and refused to accept the answer that it’s impossible.

WAG here, as I have no connections to MLB.

Without researching, I cannot remember any time three teams ended the season in a tie. I remember the 1998 NL Wild Card race was looking like it might end in a three-way tie, but the Mets lost a game they need to win so it was only the Cubs and the Giants. The point here is to explain that the rules covering a four-way tie are unlikely ever to be needed.

I would think if the season were approaching it’s end and it was looking like there might be more than four teams tying, MLB would quickly come up with a plan and every team involved would find a reason why the plan was to their disadvantage.

It’s never happened.

It seems to be the only way to handle an all-81-81 season that would be consistent with precedent would be a series of randomly seeded single elimination playoffs. That would work great in the NL, which conveniently has 16 teams, but in the 14-team AL would you need to randomly assign two byes.

not_alice, your question in the other thread bore no resemblance to this one.

Some mathematician should calculate the probability of an all-81-81 season, ASSUMING that each team has an exactly equal amount of talent. I’d bet it would be less than one in a billion even then. The fact that some teams are better than others makes the probability even smaller.

True. Although, of all the potential record outcomes amongst 30 teams, it’s the most likely (I think).

It’s many many orders of magnitude less likely than one in a billion.

Should not be too difficult to estimate - you could figure out the probability of flipping a fair coin 162 times with exactly 81 heads, then raise this to the 29th power.

For a more accurate model, assign flip-probability percentages that match the final team winning percentages in a typical MLB season.

The Pirates would forfeit, having already packed up and gone home for the year because they are so unfamiliar with this thing called the postseason.

But they would use their 81-81 season as a springboard to trade their six top players for two local little league bench warmers.

81 head and 81 tails happens about 6% of the time. Raised to 29th power yield 3.7 x 10-36, which is basically the same thing as the same person hitting the powerball jackpot in 10 consectuive drawings.

(FTR, I don’t think you would raise it to the 29th power. Although My probabiltiy skills suck, 25+ yrs removed from college)

But baseball is not a random coin flip. If you want to stick with the flipping coin analogy, some weighted so tails comes up more frequently, some weighted so that heads come up more frequently (and the weights vary by team). Thus, one team may be weighted so it will come heads 60% of the time, another so it will come up heads 40% of the time. The chances that both teams come up heads 50% of the time are very slight.

But using coins to stand in for major league play is about as false analogy as you can come up with. Despite the fact there are only two outcomes, there is not a 50-50 chance that a particular team will win. For proof, look at the Las Vegas betting line. Why don’t they give even odds on every game?

Ponch8 wanted to know the answer to this hypothetical.

The odds are a bit better than the numbers listed. Doing the odds of 81 and 81 to the 29th does some double counting. I’m not sure if this works, but how bout 2 to the 1215 power. There are 2430 games a season, half of them could have any outcome you want, while the other half need to have a specific (1 of 2) answer.

I don’t know about baseball but in the NFL there are a series of tie-breakers and at some point they actually will toss a coin. I’d assume some similar ultimate tie-breaker exists in major league baseball.

Teams never lose playoff spots in baseball due to tie-breakers or coin flips though. They play the games on the field.