How the expanded playoff format works
I hate it. Alright, I know it’s not fair to start like that, so let me explain. The way this is going to work is the two teams with the best records from each division get in. As well as two wild card teams. Wild card teams being the following two teams with the best record out of each league. No team will receive a bye. It will be a 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, and so on type of format. All series will be best of three. There will be no traveling during the opening series. And all games will be played at the home park of the team with the higher ranking.
Make sense? Good
Here’s my problem, there are 30 major league teams, and we’re putting over half of them into the playoffs. So the Yankees, who will win probably 47 out of 60 games, will end up playing a team like the Texas Rangers, who have no business being in the playoffs after they win 27 games. Do you know what’s possible in a three-game series? ANYTHING.
Now, I’ve heard the argument that with such a shortened season, a team like the Astros or Dodgers could go on a ten-game losing streak that might keep them out of the postseason in a 60 game season. Once that happens, the season loses credibility because a juggernaut that would recover from something like that in a 162 game season misses the postseason.
This would be all that you would hear “This season doesn’t even count.” So we expand the playoffs to 16 teams to prevent that and maintain credibility. Now, what happens if the freakin Orioles sneak in somehow as an 8 seed in the American League and beat the Yankees since no one is getting a bye? You’re going to hear the same thing…. “This season doesn’t even count.”
I say we need to call this season what it is, “The Covid year.” We need to stop changing rules; seven-inning doubleheaders, universal DH, expanded playoffs. Let’s play as we’ve always played and stop making modifications to the game itself because the season has been shortened. If a team that the baseball world thinks “deserves” to make the playoffs, but doesn’t in this short season, THEN THEY DON’T DESERVE TO BE IN THE PLAYOFFS!
Play the game the way it’s always been played. The postseason is where the teams with the best records belong. Letting half the league into the postseason is a disservice to the teams that dominate the year and really deserve to be there. Again, anything can happen in three-game series. A juggernaut team losing to a below .500 team that doesn’t belong because they played two bad games puts a bad taste in my mouth. Way more so than a good team missing the playoffs due to a bad stretch in a shortened season.