It is a well known fact that the 2020 MLB season will be shortened. We will get something between 50-81 games, if we get something at all. Earlier today, the owners proposed a 76 game season that will likely be rejected. At some point, the owners and the players will likely reach a deal. But that leaves one question, how big should the playoffs be?
Baseball has a 162 game season for a reason. Baseball has a lot of randomness. After a certain time, the better teams will rise to the top. That's how baseball works, but it has to be designed in a specific way. Because of this, it's inevitable that some good teams will under preform in the shortened 2020 season.
If good teams under preform, there would be no way of telling. The Yankees could look really bad for the first 50 games, and in a 162 game season they would rise to the top. But if the Yankees were bad in the first 50 games and they missed the playoffs, then would we have an accurate result?
That leads me to my first conclusion; this year's playoffs need to be bigger. That way, we can have more teams in the playoffs, and the better teams will have a chance to rise to the top and win the World Series. But how many teams should be in the playoffs?
That's not an easy question. Under the 2019 MLB rules, there are 10 teams who make the playoffs. I think that we need to expand it to 14.
The playoff format would include in each league:
3 division winners
4 wild card spots
That might look like:
Team A: Division Winner #1 Seed
Team B: Division Winner #2 Seed
Team C: Division Winner #3 Seed
Team D: Wild Card #4 Seed
Team E: Wild Card #5 Seed
Team F: Wild Card #6 Seed
Team G: Wild Card #7 Seed
Wild Card Round 1 (Best of 3 series):
Team D vs Team G
Team E vs Team F
Winners: Team D & Team E
Wild Card Round 2 (Best of 3 Series):
Team E vs Team F
Winner: Team F
Divisional Series (Best of 7 Series):
Team A vs Team F
Team B vs Team C
Winners: Team A & Team C
Conference Series (Best of 7 Series):
Team A vs Team C
Winner: Team C
This same format would be true for the other league as well. This playoff format gives teams a chance. While I think that win or go home games are fun, I think that teams aren't given an appropriate chance in the Wild Card. But that's another topic for another article.
Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed!