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#pounditTuesday, September 22, 2020

MLB postseason format will be true test of pitching depth

Shane Bieber

The MLB has officially announced its plans for the 2020 postseason, and pitching depth will likely be more important than ever in determining which team is crowned World Series champion.

Expanding the postseason from 10 to 16 teams means more games, and MLB is accommodating that with fewer off days. Perhaps the most notable thing from Tuesday’s playoff schedule reveal is that there will be no off days during the Wild Card Series, Division Series or League Championship Series.

A typical postseason series has days off for travel. That allows teams to use their best starting pitchers (and relievers, for that matter) in more games. In order to do that now, starting pitchers would have to pitch on fewer days rest. A team’s ace would only have three days off between starts if pitching twice in a Division Series.

In the past, a team could rely on three or four starters in the postseason. Now, the team with the most rotation depth may have an advantage over the team with the best ace. It will be interesting to see how that element plays out.

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