MLB, MLBPA agree to 16-team playoff for 2020 season
The MLB regular season has been reduced dramatically to just 60 games this season, but there will be more playoff baseball than ever before.
The MLB Players Association on Thursday approved a proposal from the league that will expand the postseason field from 10 teams to 16 for 2020, as first reported by ESPN’s Marly Rivera. Part of the proposal called for the top three seeds in the National League and American League to pick their opponents from the five other teams as part of a selection show that will be televised.
As part of the 16-team expanded playoff proposal, the No. 1, 2, 3 seeds in each league— the Division winners— would pick their opponents among the other 5 teams, with a selection show.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 23, 2020
The current playoff format features 10 teams with a one-game Wild Card play-in. That is expected to be scrapped for this season, with four full rounds being played. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the first round will be a best-of-three series.
Told the sides still working out final details, but are optimistic. First round will be best 2-of-3, so there also is an instant griddle that even the top teams will be on. Lose G1 and you have to have a 2-game winning streak to save your season
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 23, 2020
With the best-case scenario being limited fan capacity at ballparks at some point during the season, MLB is trying to generate as much fan interest and TV viewership as possible. Expanding the playoff field should accomplish that goal, and it’s an idea that the league will likely consider sticking with going forward.
While the 2020 season is going to look much different, at least one MLB star believes this year’s World Series trophy should mean even more to whichever team wins it.