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Old 03-02-2019, 10:34 AM   #1
Kirby Paquette
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Welcome back GMO!

I was very happy to read from GMO again on the Schedule Forum.

I started making Schedules after I read his Blog a few years ago. I still follow his guidelines when I build Schedules.

Over the years I notice that I am still stuck with a little problem. I can not figure out how to make sure all teams play 2 or 3 series in a row at home and on the road. I always end up with bunch of teams playing one series at home and one series on the road for a stretch of 6 or more series... that bugs me.

Is there a way to make sure I can avoid stretches of one series alterning between home and away, and have all of them ideally playing 2-3 series home and 2-3 series away?
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:11 PM   #2
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Thanks! Good to see others interested and involved. No promises, but I am hanging around again at least right now.

Ah, that blog. I do not think I know how to log into it any more. It did not get very far before I faded out. Hopefully over time I can get back to documenting things... and pick up some new tricks.

That constraint of strongly favoring 2-series and 3-series homestands & roadtrips I would say is the toughest thing. In general I make a point to allow a maximum of 4 series (or 14 games) home or away for a team, but I end up with lots of single-series cases, or at least lots more than I would want.

The 2019 MLB has less than 10% of series in single sets and the rest in 2-3 series sets. I would call that magic. I will typically end up with probably a slight majority of series in 2- and 3-game sets, but generally very roughly even binning of series into each of 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-series sets, with each holding ~20-30% of the series. E.g., a team may have 52 series, with 12 falling into 12 one-series sets, 16 falling into 8 two-series sets, 12 falling into 4 three-series sets, and 12 falling into 3 four-series sets.

Anyway, breaking up those sets longer than 5 series... I will do that manually by trading out series with the mirror image somewhere else in the schedule. So if there is a stretch with 5 straight road series for a team then I would do some sort of a replacement, like to turn it into 2-away, 1-home, 2-away.

Code:
.....      .....
1 @ 2  ->  1 @ 2
1 @ 6  ->  1 @ 6
1 @ 4  ->  4 @ 1
1 @ 5  ->  1 @ 5
1 @ 3  ->  1 @ 3
.....      .....
4 @ 1  ->  1 @ 4
.....      .....
After the initial layout, there can a lot of that manual swapping of series like that. That 1 @ 4 above that I moved somewhere else - that may have made it so team 4 plays 5 straight home series in that part of the schedule, which means doing another swap, or maybe I decide the best change is swapping the 1v3 matchups, or...

Depending on the league structure, most of the effort in making the schedule may be in this sort of work. The trick is do all the switching in such a way as to make sure the constraints all get satisfied - i.e., max of 4 straight series home or away, but try to minimize the 1-series sets, make sure teams have nearly balanced weekends home & away, etc.

A big motivation for getting back involved is that I have a bit more programming experience that has allowed for building tools to more easily do the adjustments and continually see the status of metrics related to constraints. Basically what I used to do all in a spreadsheet I am getting able to do more easily in an html page with javascript.

That is all still manual brute force though. It has long been a hope, and I am starting to investigate ways to have the computer do some of work to get toward prettier end results.
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that topic.

You are right. The constraint to have 2-3 series and avoiding stretches of 1 is very tough.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirby Paquette View Post
Over the years I notice that I am still stuck with a little problem. I can not figure out how to make sure all teams play 2 or 3 series in a row at home and on the road. I always end up with bunch of teams playing one series at home and one series on the road for a stretch of 6 or more series... that bugs me.
The average length of home stands and road trips is smaller now than it was in earlier seasons, and especially so compared to the 16-team MLB years. To avoid a lot of short stands, perhaps being willing to let a team or two have the occasional longer stand will ameliorate the issue.

It should be noted the modern MLB schedule is created by specialized software (here's the website of the company; it also does the NFL schedule), which allows thousands of schedules to be created, involving many requested parameters, and the leagues can then choose the one output which they feel is best. Obviously, if you're doing it by hand, starting over after hitting an output that isn't optimal is a much more time-consuming effort.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:05 PM   #5
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:54 AM   #6
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gmo! You were one of my favourite posters. I thought something bad must have happened to you. It's wonderful to see you again. Welcome back!
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:13 PM   #7
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