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MLB’s proposed postseason expansion would reward mediocrity

Baltimore Orioles v. Texas Rangers

Photo by John Williamson/ MLB via Getty Images

The MLB proposal, if approved, would expand postseason from 10 to 14 teams.

Major League Baseball is considering expanding its postseason as early as 2022, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Doing so would honor a great deal of passable teams.

Such a modification would need to come through collective bargaining with the players, with the current agreement moving through 2021. The items would enormously expand the wild card round, per Sherman 😛 TAGEND

In this concept, the team with the best record in each organization would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and exit directly to the Division Series. The two other partition champions and the wild card with the next best record would each emcee all three sports in a best-of-three wild card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round residence games.

The division winner with the second-best record in a conference would then get the firstly pick of its rival from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other.

The most bulletin-board-friendly aspect is the idea of two department winners in each league getting to pick their first-round opponent. Also, the wild card moves from two fantastically intense, but single games to a round of best-of-three series.

“Baseball is always a sport of lines, two out of three, three out of five, four out of seven. It’s always induced ability in our athletic, ” Rockies manager Bud Black told SB Nation back in September. “I’m not sure I would change it, but schedule-wise if it could be worked out where it’s two out of three to get to that schism lines, I’d like to be in that discussion or are talking about it.

But the biggest change in the proposed plan the team with the best record in each tournament getting a bye-bye directly into the division serials, avoiding that opening best-of-three round absolutely. It dedicates an incentive among the very best crews to vie for the top spot, but at the cost of letting in a knot of middling teams.

MLB’s last-place postseason mutation came in 2012, contributing a second wild card to each league and matching the AL and NL with 15 units each. Under that organization, a 90 -win team has missed the playoffs only four times 😛 TAGEND

2012 Rays( 90 -7 2) 2013 Rangers( 91 -7 2; lost a Game-1 63 tiebreaker) 2018 Rays( 90 -7 2) 2019 Indians( 93 -6 9)

Had baseball exploited this expanded playoff structure, those 90 -win teams all would have obligated into October, but so would four squads that finished with a losing record 😛 TAGEND

2014 Braves or Mets( 79 -8 3) 2016 Marlins( 79 -8 2) 2017 two of Angels, Rays, or Royals (8 0-82)

Seven more crews with between 81 -8 3 acquires had a top-seven record in their league since 2012, which would have watered down the playoffs even more.

The commissioner might argue that with an increased chance to fix the postseason, more units might be more aggressive in pursuit of October baseball. The current setup has two wild card teams in each organization play-act a single competition, with the winner facing the best team in the league in the split series. The an opportunity for a mid-8 0s acquire crew that “goes for it” just for a shot at a coin-flip game clang frightful, but just ask the 2019 Nationals about the benefits of winning the wild card.

But the motivation use both lanes. Retroactively applying this expanded postseason format to every season of the current 30 -team era( since 1998 ), at least one 83 -win( or worse) squad would have acquired the playoffs in 18 of the last 22 years. Why should a mid-8 0s earn team try harder, when they can in most years relatively coast and take their chances as a barely-over-. 500 squad? Why should a 93 -win team spend money to stay ahead of the parcel?

Even with concerns over watering down the make, some sort of expansion feels inescapable. Among the major North American professional athletics leagues, MLB currently communicates the smallest percentage of its teams to the postseason. This reform would only vault MLB( 46.7 percentage) above the National Football League( 37.5 percent) and National Women’s Soccer League( 44.4 percentage ), and still leave baseball with under 50 percentage of its teams stimulating the playoffs.

The expanded wild card round entails more playoff games to televise, which should draw more money into the sport once the new television contracts come around. The only question is whether the advantage is enough to offset further belittling the regular season. I expect MLB to spawn the choice it typically does, which is take the short-term revenue and figure out the long-term accomplishes later.

Read more: sbnation.com