February 11, 2020

MLB Ponders Radical Playoff Changes: Major League Baseball is considering a playoff overhaul that would expand the field from five to seven teams in each league, give the top team a bye, give teams 2 through 4 the chance to pick their opponents and make that first round a three-game series played entirely at the top seed.

posted by rcade to baseball at 11:08 AM - 3 comments

My initial reaction was "ha ha ha...fuck no." But there are some elements that might be intriguing. To my knowledge, this would be the first "pick your opponent" format, which I have to admit I kind of like. How many times does a top seed come up against a team that has been essentially playing playoff baseball (or whatever other sport) for a month before entering the playoffs? And how often is that last seed firing on all cylinders at the right time? I think the option to play whoever you want serves as a great reward for finishing on top. But I also see managers getting fired for picking the wrong opponent and bowing out early.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:33 PM on February 11

1. I like moving to best of 3 vs. the current WC sudden death. [And I say that with the caveat that last year's NL WC game (specifically B8/T9) was the greatest sports moment I have ever been present for.]
2. Increase from five to ...seven teams? I would expect to move past five teams sooner or later, but six feels like the right number to me.
3. The live selection idea sounds ridiculous, though I don't necessarily have an argument against tahoemoj's rationale.

posted by bender at 01:20 PM on February 11

Best of 3 is good, as is the addition of a 7th team. I'm not so sure that what will amount to a week of rest will be a good thing for the team getting a bye. Maybe your pitching will benefit, but your hitters might take some time to recover. "Pick your poison" sounds unnecessary to me. You can bet that the 5th, 6th, and 7th place teams are probably somewhat run down after trying to survive long enough to make the playoffs. 2 vs 7 normally is a mismatch, and 3 vs 6 is usually not much better. The 4 vs 5 matchup, if somehow eliminated, would be missed. The best thing about this is that the umpires get a little extra pay.because of the extended first round series.

posted by Howard_T at 06:30 PM on February 11

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