New Playoff Format in MLB

MLB is going to add another wild card slot for both the American and National League. Teams that win their division earn an extra day or two of rest while the wild card teams face off in a one-game playoff round. Winner of the one-game “series” would play in the divisional round of the playoffs. The loser packs their bags for a long trip home.

I have a couple problems with this.

  • Why expand the playoffs if wild card teams only get one chance to advance?

It seems cruel. Athletes are creatures of habit and baseball players are no different. For 6 months, 30 teams play series after series, trying to compile the best record in their division to ensure a playoff birth. For wild card teams though, it only leads to an extra game? I don’t agree with this at all.

  • Postseason Baseball: pitching and defense wins championships.

It makes zero sense to have two teams play one game that is the equivalent of a game 7. These teams will have to pour every available resource (pitcher) into this game. Yes, the winners get to move on, but will be at a serious disadvantage facing rested teams who were able to set their starting rotation up to face them. Especially if this playoff game would go into extra innings, wiping out each teams bullpen.

I realize that MLB wants to avoid having the postseason drag into November, while creating buzz and more money opportunities for the postseason. But this playoff format is a literally a kick to the crotch for wild card teams.

  • My suggestion for MLB.

If you are going to switch up the playoff format, do it right the first time. There should not be a trial and error phase. Cut the season back to 156 games instead of 162, each MLB team would lose a home series throughout the course of the season, but it would open up the necessary time to have the wild card teams play at least a 3 or 5 game series. Plus, MLB could start the division league series’ a couple days earlier, avoiding baseball games in November.

2 replies to “New Playoff Format in MLB

  1. I support it. The wildcard really hurt the regular season as far as its importance…but if you’re going to have it at least make that team be at a deficit versus all the division winners since they are a second-place team. For instance, the Angels have won 5 division championships in the last 10 years. The only time they won the World Series in that span was the year they were a wild card. The Marlins have never won a division title and have 2 World Series banners. They play 162 games for a reason other than selling tickets and building stats, right?

  2. The wild card screwed up the regular season? When you only have 4 teams making the post season (3 division winners/1 wild card). All those teams earn the right to be there after 162 games. Now they are making it slightly easier to have a post season appearance, but completely pull the rug out from underneath the wild cards with a one game playoff… to me the whole thing is crap. They are only doing this to make more money, not to better MLB. I think they should try to accomplish both.. make money and better MLB.

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