MLB Division Reassignment Logic Puzzle Walkthrough

The first main rule in this puzzle to keep in mind is that no team stayed in its division. In other words, no team in this puzzle is in the division it is actually in. The other main rule is that each division is in alphabetical order by city/state. So for example, if Milwaukee and Baltimore are in the same division, you know that Baltimore must come before Milwaukee.

Here again is a link to the chart of the actual divisions

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1.) The Washington Nationals are the very last team alphabetically, so they must be listed fifth in whatever division they are in. They can’t have remained in the NL E but according to the Mariners, they are still in the NL. Therefore the Washington Nationals are NLC-5.

2.) Nationals tell you that NLE-3 is New York Yankees.

3.) The T teams are Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays. They can’t be in any division that any of them was previously in, so no AL E or AL W. The Mariners also tell you that they must be in the AL. So then, according to the Nationals, they must all be in the AL C. But you also know where they go exactly, because they are 2nd-4th last in the alphabet, with Washington already placed. This means that they must be in the last three places of the AL C

4.) Oakland can’t be in the AL W because it was before. The Rays tell you that Oakland is listed fifth, so they must be either AL E or NL E. But they can’t go in the NL E because they are directly after New York alphabetically. So if they were 5th and New York is 3rd, there would be no team that could come between them. Therefore the Oakland Athletics are in ALE-5.

5.) According to the Yankees, the White Sox can’t be in the AL E. They also can’t be AL C, since they started there. Therefore, according to the Athletics, both the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks are in the AL W. And since Arizona is first overall in the alphabet, it must go in ALW-1.

6.) Since Baltimore, Boston, and Atlanta are all listed first (according to Blue Jays), nothing left could come between Arizona and Chicago. You know the Chicago White Sox are in the AL W, so they must be ALW-2.

7.) Three former AL W teams are placed (Rangers, Mariners, Athletics). So the Rangers tell you that either the Houston Astros or the Los Angeles Angels are listed first somewhere, and the other is listed fourth somewhere. The Diamondbacks tell you that the Cincinnati Reds are in the same division as the Houston Astros. Cincinnati is before Houston, so the Astros must be listed fourth somewhere and the Angels must be listed first somewhere. The White Sox tell you that the Reds (and therefore also the Astros) are not in the AL E or AL W. The Astros are 4th, so the Reds and Astros are not in the AL C either. The Reds started in the NL C, so that leaves only the NL W for the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros. So the Astros are NLW-4.

8.) Similar to step 6 above, nothing can come before Cincinnati except teams you know are listed first. Therefore Cincinnati Reds are in NLW-2.

9.) Only three teams could possibly come between Cincinnati and Houston: Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, and Detroit Tigers. According to the Reds, the Indians are in the AL. The Rockies can’t be in the NL W because that’s where they started. Therefore NLW-3 is the Detroit Tigers.

10.) Pittsburgh can’t be NL Central since they started there. They also can’t come before Oakland or New York, but the Tigers say that they are listed second. Therefore the Pittsburgh Pirates can only go in ALC-2.

11.) The St. Louis Cardinals are the last alphabetical team remaining. They started in the NL C, so can’t be there. According to the Pirates, the Cardinals are also not in the AL W. St. Louis can’t be before Oakland or Pittsburgh, so the Cardinals can’t be in the AL E or AL C either. The Cardinals must be in the NL E, and they must be last because no remaining team is after them alphabetically. So the St. Louis Cardinals are NLE-5.

12.) You have known that the remaining teams listed first are the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and Los Angeles Angels. The Cardinals tell you that neither Baltimore nor Boston moved to the NL E. Atlanta cannot remain in the NL E either. Therefore the Los Angeles Angels are NLE-1.

13.) Only the 3 M’s (Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Miami Marlins) could go between Los Angeles and New York. The Pirates tell you that the Brewers are in the AL W. The Marlins started in the NL E, so cannot remain. Therefore the Minnesota Twins are  NLE-2.

14.) The Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants need two consecutive spaces, according to the Twins. AL E doesn’t work because both Philadelphia and San Francisco are after Oakland alphabetically. If those two teams were in the NL C, the San Diego Padres would have to go in ALW-5 in order to keep the Rays’ clue intact. But if all that happens, no team fits between New York and St. Louis. Therefore the Phillies and Giants are not in the NL C either. This leaves only the AL W. Since the Brewers are also in the AL W according to the Pirates, ALW-3-5 goes Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants.

15.) The only remaining team that fits between New York and St. Louis is the San Diego Padres. Put them in NLE-4.

16.) You know that Baltimore is listed first. The only division missing its first spot and any other spot is the NL C. So, according to the Padres, Baltimore and Miami are in the NL C. So The Baltimore Orioles are NLC-1.

17.) You could have placed the Indians before, but it doesn’t help. They are AL according to the Reds and nothing could come between Chicago and Cleveland, so the Cleveland Indians are ALE-2.

18.) The New York Mets are last alphabetically of the remaining teams. So they must be ALE-4 or NLC-4. Miami Marlins are the second last team alphabetically of the remaining teams. The Brewers tell you that the Mets and Marlins are in different divisions, so you actually know that both of them must be listed fourth. So the Padres now tell you that the Miami Marlins are NLC-4 and the New York Mets are ALE-4.

19.) You have known which teams are listed first, so the Mets must be saying that Colorado is listed third, either ALE-3 or NLC-3. But the only remaining and unknown teams (Kansas City and Los Angeles Dodgers) cannot come before Colorado. Cleveland, however, can, so the Colorado Rockies are in ALE-3.

20.) So obviously, Kansas City Royals are NLC-2 and Los Angeles Dodgers are NLC-3.

21.) The Royals tell you that Boston is no longer in a division with any of these: Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays. Therefore, the Boston Red Sox are in NLW-1.

22.) ALC-1 must be the Atlanta Braves.

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