The 2019 Major League Baseball season began on March 20, while the regular season ended on September 29. It was the 150th anniversary of professional baseball, dating back to the 1869 foundation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The postseason began on October 1. The World Series began October 22 and ended October 30 with the Washington Nationals defeating the Houston Astros in seven games to win their first World Series championship. The entire schedule was released on August 22, 2018.
This was the final season when anyone on the 40-man expanded roster could be used in games from September 1 through the end of the regular season (so-called September call-ups).
As has been the case since 2013, teams were scheduled to play 19 games against each division opponent for a total of 76 games, and six or seven games against each team from the other two divisions for a total of 66 games. The primary inter-league match-ups were AL East vs NL West, AL Central vs NL East and AL West vs NL Central.
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. 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.
On September 24, 2018, 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.
On October 3, 2018, the team announced that Duquette, along with manager Buck Showalter, would not be retained for the 2019 season after the Orioles had the worst record in franchise history at 47–115 (.290). Duquette was hired as general manager after the 2011 season. On November 16, 2018, Mike Elias was named the team's new general manager.
On November 7, 2018, Zaidi left the Dodgers to become the President of Baseball Operations for the San Francisco Giants. Since taking over in 2014, he oversaw the Dodgers win the NL West all five times, and the NL pennant twice from 2017–2018.
Dombrowski, who held the title President of Baseball Operations and was de facto general manager since Mike Hazen left the team in October 2016, was fired less than a year after Boston won the 2018 World Series, following a loss that dropped the team's record to 76–67 (.531).
On September 26, 2018, the team announced that manager John Gibbons will not be retained for the 2019 season. In his second stint with the team, Gibbons finished with a 498–494 (.502) record and two playoff appearances. On October 25, 2018, the Blue Jays announced that Charlie Montoyo will be the new manager for the 2019 season, signing him to a three-year deal with a club option for 2022.
On September 30, 2018, it was announced that Mike Scioscia will be stepping down as manager of the Los Angeles Angels after 19 years with a 1650–1428 (.536) record. He led the Angels to six division titles and won the 2002 World Series. He also won the American League Manager of the Year twice during his tenure. On October 21, 2018, it was announced that Brad Ausmus would be the new manager of the Angels.
On October 2, 2018, it was announced that Paul Molitor will be offered a new role in the Twins organization and will be out as manager after four years. Molitor finished with a 305–343 (.471) record with one playoff appearance in 2017, in which he was named the American League Manager of the Year after the season. On October 25, 2018, it was announced that Rocco Baldelli will be the new Twins manager.
On October 3, 2018, the team announced that manager Buck Showalter, along with general manager Dan Duquette, will not be retained for the 2019 season. Showalter went 669–684 (.494) in his nine seasons at Baltimore and led the Orioles to the postseason three times, including the 2014 American League Championship Series, when they were swept by the Kansas City Royals, but in his final season with the Orioles, they finished with the worst record in franchise history and in the 2018 season overall at 47–115 (.290) On December 14, 2018, the Orioles officially announced that Brandon Hyde will be the new manager of the Orioles.
On September 21, Green was fired after four seasons with a record of 274–366 (.428). Bench coach Rod Barajas was named the interim manager of the Padres for the rest of the season. The Padres would eventually hire Jayce Tingler for during the 2020 offseason.
On September 28, Clint Hurdle was fired after nearly nine seasons with the Pirates, with a record of 735–720 (.505). He was fired prior to the final game of the season and did not manage the final game.
With a home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 31, Yelich became the sixth player in Major League history to hit a home run in each of his team's first four games of the season.
At age 35, became the oldest pitcher since 1957 to hit multiple home runs in the same game on April 2 against the San Diego Padres.
Became the first pitcher since 1930 to have at least five extra-base hits through the team's first 26 games on April 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also became the first pitcher since 1906 to hit for the cycle all in the month of April.
With his line drive out in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics on April 8, Davis set the Major League record with his 47th consecutive hitless at-bat. He broke the record that was set by Eugenio Vélez at the end of the 2010 season and the beginning of the 2011 season. Davis finally was able to put an end to the streak at 54 consecutive hitless at-bats with a single in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox on April 13.
Set the Major League record for total bases in March/April with 88 on April 26 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished March/April with 97 total bases.
With his 14th home run of the season on April 28 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bellinger tied a Major League record for the most home runs in a single season before May 1. He tied the record that was set by Albert Pujols (2006), Alex Rodriguez (2007) and this year by Christian Yelich.
Became the second player under the age of 25 in National League history to hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break on July 4 against the San Diego Padres. Willie Mays accomplished this feat as well in 1954.
On May 6 against the Cincinnati Reds became only the second player since 1900 to post a scoreless outing, hit a home run and steal a base in the same game, joining fellow Giant Christy Mathewson, who accomplished the feat on May 23, 1905.
Recorded his 650th career double in the third inning on July 7 against the Houston Astros. He became the eighth player to reach this mark.
Recorded his 650th career home run on July 28 against the Baltimore Orioles. He became the sixth player to reach this mark. With this home run, Pujols also became the first player in Major League history to hit at least 650 home runs and 650 doubles in their career.
With a single in the fourth inning on August 14 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pujols became the all-time hits leader among players born outside the United States, passing Adrián Beltré with career hit 3,167.
By knocking in two runs against the Oakland Athletics on July 22, Álvarez became the first player in Major League history to have 35 RBIs in his first 30 career games since runs batted in became an official statistic in 1920.
Set the Major League record for most hits in a four-game series by getting 15 hits against the San Diego Padres from June 13 to June 16. He broke the record that was set by Buck Jordan of the Boston Braves in 1934 and Bill White of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1961.
Became the first player in Major League history to have two milestone hits in one at-bat on July 3 against the Atlanta Braves. His at-bat in the sixth inning included his 1000th career hit and his 200th career home run.
Became the first rookie in Major league history to hit a home run in three consecutive innings on August 10 against the Chicago Cubs.
With his 13th home run on August 28 against the Miami Marlins, he became the first player in the modern era to reach 13 home runs in 100 career plate appearances.
Became the fastest player to reach 15 career home runs with his home run on September 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Aquino accomplished this in 122 plate appearances, breaking the record by Rhys Hoskins who did it in 135 plate appearances last season.
With his 30th stolen base on August 23 against the New York Mets, Acuña became the second-youngest player to join the game's 30–30 club. The only other player to join the 30-30 club before his 22-year-old season was Mike Trout, who accomplished this feat during his 20-year-old season in 2012.
With his 40th home run on September 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies, Acuña became the youngest in Major League history to hit at least 40 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season.
On August 31, Trout made history by becoming the youngest player (28 years, 24 days) to join the 200-homer 200-stolen base club. He achieved this feat against the Boston Red Sox with his 11th stolen base of the season, breaking the record that was previously held by Barry Bonds (28 years, 349 days).
Threw his second career no-hitter, and the 13th in franchise history, by defeating the Cincinnati Reds 2–0 on May 7. Fiers struck out six and walked two, throwing 83 of his 131 pitches for strikes. Fiers becomes the 35th pitcher with multiple no-hitters in his career, including the post-season. This was also the 300th no-hitter in Major League history.
Combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in franchise history by defeating the Seattle Mariners 13–0 on July 12. With every player wearing Tyler Skaggs's jersey number 45 in their first home game since his death on July 1, Cole and Pena allowed only one walk during the game in the 13th combined no-hitter in Major League history. Cole started the game and went two innings, throwing 13 of his 22 pitches for strikes. Pena went the last seven innings, walking one and striking out six. He threw 81 pitches and 52 were for strikes.
Combined to throw the 12th no-hitter in franchise history and the 14th combined no-hitter in Major League history by defeating the Seattle Mariners 9–0 on August 3. Sanchez struck out six and walked two, throwing 55 of his 92 pitches for strikes. Harris walked one while throwing 12 pitches, of which five were strikes. Biagini struck out one and walked one while throwing 22 pitches, of which 12 were strikes. Devenski struck out one; with eight of twelve pitches were strikes.
Threw his third career no-hitter and the 13th no-hitter in franchise history in a 2–0 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 1. Verlander struck out fourteen batters while allowing only one walk, throwing 79 of his 120 pitches for strikes. Verlander also became the first person in Major League history to throw multiple no-hitters at the same park. He also became the sixth player in Major League history to throw at least three no-hitters, joining Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, Larry Corcoran, and Cy Young.
Became the first teammates in Major League history to make their major league debuts in the same game, with one pitcher earning a win and the other earning a save on April 1 against the San Diego Padres.
For the month of June, posted an ERA of 1.00 and struck out 68 batters in 45 innings. He became the fourth pitcher in the live ball era (since 1920) with an ERA of 1.00 or lower and 68-plus strikeouts in a month. The others were Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez.
With his 1,500th strikeout on May 2 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Strasburg became the fastest pitcher in Major League history to reach this mark accomplishing it in 12721⁄3 innings. Chris Sale previously held the record in 1290 innings.
Tied a Major League record by combining to hit four batters in the sixth inning of their game against the Cincinnati Reds on May 6. They tied a record that was set by the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 19, 1893.
Recorded his 2,000th career strikeout by getting Oscar Mercado in the third inning on August 13 against the Cleveland Indians. He became the 83rd pitcher to reach this mark. Sale also became the fastest pitcher in Major League history to record 2,000 strikeouts. He accomplished this feat in 1,626 innings, breaking the record of 1,7111⁄3 innings set by Pedro Martinez.
With his scoreless outing on May 16 against the Detroit Tigers, Pressly has made 38 straight scoreless appearances, tying the Major League record set by Craig Kimbrel in 2011. Pressly set the new record the very next night against the Boston Red Sox. Pressly's streak came to an end at 40 games on May 24 against the Boston Red Sox.
Became the first pitcher since 1908 to strikeout 15 batters and allow at least three homers in a game on June 12 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Recorded his 3,000th career strikeout by fanning Kole Calhoun of the Los Angeles Angels for his sixth strikeout of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on September 28, during his final start of the regular season. He became the 18th player in history to reach this mark. Verlander would go on to finish the game with 12 strikeouts, with his final one, against Calhoun in the sixth inning, making him the 19th pitcher in Major League history to record at least 300 strikeouts in a single season. Verlander also became only the second pitcher in Major League history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts and 300 strikeouts in a season in the same game, joining Randy Johnson who accomplished the same feat on September 10, 2000.
With his 200th strikeout of the season on July 22 against the Oakland Athletics, Cole became the second fastest to this mark in Major League history. Cole reached this mark in 1331⁄3 innings. Randy Johnson holds the record by reaching this mark in 1302⁄3 innings during the 2001 season.
Became the second pitcher in Major League history to strike out 14 or more batters in three consecutive games on September 8 against the Seattle Mariners. This was first accomplished in 1999 by Pedro Martinez.
Became the 18th pitcher in Major League history to notch 300 strikeouts in a season when he struck out Shin-Soo Choo of the Texas Rangers in the sixth inning on September 18.
Became the first position player in Major League history to earn a save (since it became official in 1969) by closing out the win on July 25 against the Los Angeles Angels. Wilkerson threw a perfect 16th inning to close out the win.
Became the first pitcher since at least 1893 to have five consecutive starts with at least eight strikeouts and no walks. The streak ended on August 27 when Darvish had seven strikeouts and one walk in the Cubs' 5–2 win over the New York Mets.
Became the youngest player in Major League history to reach 150 career saves by closing out a victory on September 17 against the Texas Rangers. Osuna is 24 years old, breaking the mark set by Craig Kimbrel, who was 25 when he set the mark.
In May, there were 1,135 home runs hit, which set a new Major League record for the most home runs in a month. The previous record was from August 2017, when there were 1,119 home runs hit. The record was broken again in June, with 1,142 home runs hit. The record was broken yet again in August, with 1,228 home runs hit.
A new Major League record for the most home runs in a season was set on September 11, when Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The home run was the 6,106th home run league-wide of the season, breaking the previous record of 6,105 home runs that was set two years earlier during the 2017 season. Major League Baseball finished with a total of 6,776 home runs.
For the 12th straight season, Major League Baseball set a new record for most strikeouts in a single season.
On March 28, the Dodgers set a Major League record for most home runs (eight) on Opening Day, in their 12–5 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers tied the Major League record for most home runs in a team's first six games with 17.
On April 17, the Dodgers tied a Major League record by hitting a home run in 32 straight home games against the Cincinnati Reds. A.J. Pollock hit the record tying home run in the sixth inning. The streak started, and only includes the regular season, on August 21, 2018. This tied the record that was previously held by the 1999 Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers set the new record their next home game on April 26 against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Cody Bellinger's home run in the first inning. The streak came to an end, at 33 consecutive games, the very next game against the Pirates.
Became the first team in Major League history to win two consecutive games on a walk-off home run by a rookie on June 22 against the Colorado Rockies. The following day, they would go on to win the game on another rookie walk-off homer to make it three in a row.
Became the first team in the live ball era (since 1920) to end a game on five consecutive walks on July 2 in a 5–4 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Set the Major League record for most home runs in a five-game stretch with 22 home runs from August 11–16 (off on August 12).
Set a Major League record for hitting a home run in a record 15 straight games to open the season, breaking the mark set by the 2002 Cleveland Indians. Dee Gordon hit the home run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals on April 11. The Mariners were able to extend the record to 20 straight games but were unable to hit a home run in a loss to the Cleveland Indians on April 17.
The Padres broke the record for the longest no-hitter drought with 8,020 games on May 16 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The drought started with the team's inaugural game on April 8, 1969. They broke the record that was set by the New York Mets, that ended with Johan Santana's no-hitter in 2012.
On July 5, set the Major League record for most home runs before the All-Star break with 165 beating the record of 161 set last season by the New York Yankees. The Twins finished with 166 home runs at the All-Star break.
Became the first team in Major League history with nine 5-plus-home-run games in single season on July 25 against the Chicago White Sox. The following night, the Twins became the fastest team in Major League history to reach their 200th home run, doing so in 103 games, 19 games less than the 2005 Texas Rangers.
Set the Major League record for most road home runs in a season by hitting their 141st home run against the Chicago White Sox on August 29. They broke the record that was set in 2001 by the San Francisco Giants.
Set the Major League record for most home runs in a season by hitting their 268th home run against the Detroit Tigers on August 31. They broke the record set last season by the New York Yankees. The Twins finished the season with 307 home runs, which set a new Major League record.
With Jorge Polanco's 20th home run on August 31 against the Detroit Tigers, the Twins set the Major League record for most players with at least 20 home runs during the season. Polanco became the eighth Twin to reach this plateau, breaking the mark that was set held by seven teams, most recently by the 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gave up their 100th home run of the season on May 21 against the New York Yankees. The Orioles pitching staff did it in 48 games, which was nine games faster than the previous fastest held by the 2000 Kansas City Royals.
Became the first team in Major League history to score at least 13 runs each in consecutive shutout games. Both games were against the Cleveland Indians on June 28 and 29.
Became the first team in Major League history to homer at least twice in 10 consecutive games on July 27 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Became the first team in Major League history to allow multiple home runs in 10 consecutive games on August 5 against the New York Yankees.
Set the record for most home runs allowed in a season by giving up their 259th on August 22 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Austin Meadows hit the home run in the third inning, breaking the mark that was set by the Cincinnati Reds during the 2016 season. The Orioles gave up 305 home runs to establish the new record.
On May 22 became the first team in Major League history to hit at least three home runs in six consecutive games in the same ballpark (Oriole Park at Camden Yards).
Set the Major League record for most consecutive games (28) with a home run on June 25 against the Toronto Blue Jays. They broke the record that was set in 2002 by the Texas Rangers. The streak came to an end at 31 games after not hitting a home run against the New York Mets on July 2.
In their season series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees hit 61 home runs, a new Major League record.
Became the first franchise in Major League history to hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs on more than one occasion on June 9 against the San Diego Padres. They also accomplished this feat on July 17, 2017 against the Milwaukee Brewers. This was the ninth time in Major League history that four consecutive home runs were hit.
Became the second team in Major League history to hit three straight home runs to start a game on the road on June 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The first team to accomplish this was the Milwaukee Brewers on September 9, 2007.
Three Major League firsts were also accomplished in this game:
The Diamondbacks became the first team in Major League history to hit eight home runs in a game and surrender eight home runs in another game (March 28 against the Los Angeles Dodgers) in the same season.
Thirteen combined home runs in a single game.
Became the first team in the modern era (since 1900) to win a game that lasted nine or more innings while having just one baserunner, according to Elias Sports. This was accomplished on September 14 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Against the Colorado Rockies on July 13, the Reds, according to Elias Sports, became the first Major League team in the modern era to collect five triples and at least three home runs in one game.
On December 10, Major League Baseball announced its first-ever All-MLB team. Players were selected through fan votes (50%) and votes from a panel of experts (50%). The winners were selected based on merit, with no set number of nominees per position and no distinction between leagues.
On November 16, 2018, the Miami Marlins unveiled a new logo, team colors, and uniform for 2019, as part of changes instituted by the team's new CEO Derek Jeter. The new design replaces one used since their 2012 move to Marlins Park and rebranding from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins, and utilizes shades of red, blue, black, and slate.
On January 29, 2018, Major League Baseball stated that the Cleveland Indians had agreed to stop using their "Chief Wahoo" logo—which has attracted controversy as a stereotype of Native Americans—on their uniforms in 2019, as it was deemed to be "no longer appropriate for on-field use". The block C cap insignia will officially become the team's main logo; on November 19, 2018, the team unveiled new uniforms excluding the Chief Wahoo logo, as well as new hats with red brims for home games, a new red-colored home alternate jersey (marking the team's first red jersey since the 1970s), and sleeve patches commemorating their hosting of the 2019 All-Star Game. In order to maintain trademarks and prevent it from falling into the public domain, the logo will continue to be used on a limited amount of team merchandise.
All 30 teams wore patches this year on the right sleeve commemorating MLB's 150th anniversary. The patch was also featured on caps on Opening Day.
Anniversaries and special events
The following teams will wear commemorative patches for special occasions
July 12: The Angels wore uniforms with the name "Skaggs" and the number 45 to remember Tyler Skaggs, who had died on July 1.
July 13: The Giants and Brewers wore Spanish language "Gigantes" and "Cerveceros" uniforms.
July 22: The Astros wore caps with the Apollo 11 logo to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
August 18: The Cubs and Pirates wore special caps and uniforms at the Little League World Series. The Cubs wore uniforms with the word "Cubbies" and the Pirates wore uniforms with the words "The Burgh". Players wore nicknames on their backs.
August 23 to 25: For the third straight year, there was a Players Weekend, an event for which all teams allowed players to showcase their passions, backgrounds and interests by putting their personal touches, including nicknames, on what they wear and the equipment they use. The teams wore either black or white uniforms with the home team choosing what color they wanted to wear during the weekend. The pitcher always wore a black hat, no matter what uniform color the team wore.
September 6: The Reds and Braves wore Spanish language "Los Rojos" and "Los Bravos" uniforms.
September 8 and 16: The Athletics wore Spanish language "Atléticos" uniforms.
September 14: The Giants wore black uniforms with orange "Gigantes" uniforms.
To honor the 150th anniversary of the Cincinnati Red Stockings becoming the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds announced on November 5, 2018, that the team would wear fifteen throwback uniforms. They wore:
May 4 – 1902 throwbacks (the 150th anniversary of the Red Stockings' 1869 home opener)
The Pirates are continuing to wear 1979 "bumblebee" throwbacks on Sundays this season. The team wore mono-black uniforms July 20 as the 40th anniversary of the 1979 World Series-winning team was honored.
The stadium of the Seattle Mariners was renamed T-Mobile Park for the mobile provider (including its magenta-pink logo color as part of the park's branding atmosphere), after Safeco's contract with the team to call the venue Safeco Field expired at the end of the 2018 season.
This was the sixth year of the current eight-year deals with Fox Sports, ESPN, and TBS. Fox aired eight weeks of baseball on Saturday Nights which led up to the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game which also aired on Fox. Fox then televised Saturday afternoon games for the final four weeks of the season. FS1 televised games on Tuesday and on Saturday 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.
WGN-TV broadcasts of Chicago Cubs and White Sox games concluded at the end of the season. WGN held the local broadcast television rights of both teams since 1948. The network's final telecasts took place on September 28 (Cubs) and September 29 (White Sox). Effective with the 2020 season, Cubs games will move exclusively to the new Marquee Sports Network, while White Sox games will air full-time on NBC Sports Chicago.
The New York Mets moved from iHeartMedia's WOR (710) to Entercom's WCBS (880), returning the team to the fold of the former CBS Radio New York cluster after five years with WOR (the team previously had a decades-long association with WFAN). However, the team's radio network throughout New York State was dissolved before the season, leaving WCBS the only station broadcasting the team's games.
MLB's contract with Facebook Watch has been further downsized, now only consisting of six games (reduced from 25). In addition, the games will no longer be exclusive to the service, and subject to blackout in-market. The league also reached a new digital partnership with the streaming service DAZN, who now airs a daily studio program, ChangeUp, which features live look-ins on games in progress.