BRONX, N.Y. — Major League Baseball is proposing a postseason expansion and a completely new format to boot. No, they’re not making some common-sense change like re-seeding teams by best record regardless of if they won their division or not. That would make too much sense.
In what smells like a chase the tennis ball distraction from the cheating scandals involving the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, commissioner Rob Manfred is reportedly proposing a radically new system.
As first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the concept expands the field to seven teams in each league. So half of baseball makes the playoffs. The format would give the team with the best record a bye to the Division Series. The two other division winners and wild card with the next best record would host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round.
https://t.co/RDTj5m8cBd EXCLUSIVE: MLB is planning a radical change to their postseason perhaps by 2022, hoping to move from 5 to 7 teams in each league and — get this — have the teams with the best records pick their playoff opponents.
The division winner with the second-best record would get first pick of its opponent from the three lower wild cards, then the other division winner would choose, hence the other two wild card teams would be left to play each other.
Based on last season, the Astros would’ve gotten a bye. The New York Yankees could’ve chosen between the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians and Red Sox. After the Yankees pick, the Minnesota Twins would’ve chosen next, followed by the Oakland Athletics playing the team not selected by the Yankees or Twins.
Did you follow all of that?
On the positive side, the knockout games are gone and perhaps more teams will be incentivized to spend money and compete.
Yet, it does water down the postseason field and if you want bulletin board material in picking teams, you got it.