What if MLB expanded its playoffs to 16 teams like the NBA and the NHL?
Here are some pros and cons.
- More money for everyone. More for MLB, more for owners, more for players, even more for hot dog vendors.
- Regular season would be more interesting. More teams would be in contention. This would also bring in more money as attendance and TV ratings would increase.
- More teams would have chance at winning World Series.
- Teams would play each other based on winning percentage ranking and the playoff spots wouldn’t have to be re-aligned so that a wild card team did not play a team in its own division.
- Playoffs would go to Thanksgiving. Air temperature is cold in late October and in November. Baseball is not fun to play or watch in 40 degree weather.
- Bad teams would make the playoffs. Look at the NBA Eastern Conference lately. Sub .500 teams make the playoffs. It just looks bad for the sport.
Below is what last years first round playoff matchup would have looked like under a 16 team format. The three division winners and best wild card team are seeded 1 through 4.
1 NYY vs 8 TB
2 LAA vs 7 Sea
3 Bos vs 6 Det
4 Min vs 5 Tex (Tex had a better Win %, but Min won their division)
Min beat Det in a one game playoff for the real AL Central last year so they get the higher seed. But in this format one game playoffs like that would not be needed.
1 LAD vs 8 ChiC
2 Phil vs 7 Atl
3 Col vs 6 Fla
4 Stl vs 5 SF
Comments on 2009 format:
The Cubs made the playoffs! Can’t you see them going all the way as an 8 seed! I can. They probably wouldn’t but it would be interesting and attractive for viewers.
Seattle and Texas would have both made the playoffs. These two teams have made the playoffs a total of 7 times combined since their existence (Texas 3 since 1961 Seattle 4 since 1977)
Here is what this years format would look like based on standings the morning of August 4th.
1 TB vs 8 Oak/LAA/Det (All 3 tied for the 8 seed)
2 NYY vs 7 Tor
3 Tex vs 6 Min
4 Chi vs 5 Bos (Bos has better win % but Chi would win AL Central)
1 SD vs 8 LAD
2 SF vs 7 Col
3 Atl vs 6 Phil
4 Cin vs 5 StL
The Mets are currently one game behind LA for the 8th seed and Florida is 1.5 games out.
This format will probably never happen but it would be cool if it did. If the NBA and NHL can have playoffs take two onths why can’t MLB? Maybe the first round would be a best of three game series, the second round a best of five, and the LCS and World Series a best of 7. Then maybe this would finish up by mid November, which isnt too far off from when the World Series ends right now anyway.