Baseball playoffs set to expand to 16 teams according to reports
There's nothing like making changes at the last minute. No wonder it took so long for the Major League Baseball season to start and on the same day the regular season is set to start, an expansion of the playoffs is about to take place.
Normally, Major League Baseball would offer six division winners and four wild card teams in the playoffs. Now, they are about ready to approve 16-team playoff for the 2020 season according to ESPN's Marly Rivera.
Instead of just two wild cards, all second-place teams in six divisions would now qualify for the playoffs, according to ESPN.com. The seventh and eighth place teams in each league would be chosen by best record among teams.
Instead of a one-game wild-card playoff, there will be a first round of the playoffs in each league, with four three-game series being played at higher seed's home stadium. After the first round, the rest of the playoffs will be normal length. The two Division Series in each league will be a five-game series, while the League Championship and World Series will be best-of-seven.
Why expand the playoffs in a pandemic? Money. Players will receive a $50 million pool that will be distributed after each round. If fans are allowed in stadiums for postseason, that pool could increase.
The 16-team format would include a postseason-seeding show in which top-seeded teams select their first-round opponents according to ESPN's Buster Olney.