This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
Perhaps the most unique thing about baseball is just how much of it there is. Fans of other sports simply don't get to watch their teams play six or seven games per week or 162 games per year, with 15 games to watch around the league on most days.
There's something reassuring about the constant presence of baseball for six months of the year. Even as fans' eyes begin to wander toward the NBA and NHL playoffs, the Euros and eventually the start of the NFL season, baseball will always be there, offering more games than you could dream of watching every single night throughout the summer. You could spin that as monotonous and boring, but I personally find the stability and structure the game provides to the summer months to be part of the appeal.
We were robbed of the dog days by the shortened schedule last year. There's typically a period of the year where the excitement of a new season has worn off but the excitement of the stretch run is still far away, but there's simply no time for that in a 60-game schedule. That's been made apparent by the return to a normal schedule this season. We're just starting to enter that period now, yet every team has already played more than 60 games. If this were last year, the season would already be over, but we're thankfully still just settling in for the long haul.
Another thing that the 162-game schedule offers us is