Baseball’s postseason will have a new NBA- and NHL-like wrinkle when October arrives, at least with the number of playoff teams.
Baseball’s wacky season will continue into a newly designed postseason.
As the 60-game schedule began Thursday night in Washington, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced an agreement that six more teams will be added to the postseason.
Originally, there were 10 teams. Now 16 teams have a chance to make the World Series.
The NBA and NHL each have 16 teams in postseason play with four rounds of best-of-seven series, meaning that if all series go seven games, the playoffs in either league will have 105 games. NHL playoffs go on for two months.
MLB will add teams to make up revenue lost because of the coronavirus delay. But the playoffs won’t drag on forever. Even with 16 teams, the most games for the MLB postseason is 65, assuming all series go the distance.
The first- and second-place teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs. Then, the teams with the next two best records in each league will also qualify.
There’s a good chance that a team with a losing record - or at least a non-winning record - will make the postseason.
According to Baseball America, a publication that covers the minor leagues, there were 14 teams in 2019 with winning records through 60 games. There were 15 teams with winning records in 2018 and 11 teams in 2017.
There will be eight three-game series in the wild card round that runs from Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, replacing the one-game sudden death game between wild-card teams.
The teams with the highest wild card seed will have home field advantage in all three of the series games.
The winners of the wild card series will advance to a best-of-five Division Series followed by the best-of-seven League Championship Series and World Series.
The agreement is this season only.