Major League Baseball considers playoff expansion, with some interesting tweaks

2017 World Series

2017 World Series

There is a proposal on the table to expand the current post season format from ten teams to fourteen teams.

He changed the rules about hard slides into second-base to break up potential double-plays, effectively removing one the sport's precious few contact plays. What possible good could come from a third-rate and fourth-rate team playing in the Crown Jewel of baseball?

In terms of distribution, the tug on the average is pretty strong. In theory, though, additional playoff teams should provide elements that the union has been wanting. Having a 162-game season ride on one subsequent game is like an National Football League team, after 16 games, having its fate determined by a 10-minute playoff. But the conclusion ignores the broader incentive that would create an expanded playoff field: a race towards mediocrity, not excellence.

MLBAM generates approximately $800 million per year in total revenue, but it has stood in the way of fans and other media outlets sharing content from various games during the 162-game regular season. Upsets are great, but by increasing both the instance and degree of disparity, the proposed format runs the risk of marginalizing the regular season. Fans who may not follow the teams that those players are on can still see their fantastic highlights thanks to the National Basketball Association allowing that content to be shared openly via social media.

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If the expanded format is likely to lead to lower participant quality and less fair outcomes, does it have some other redeeming quality? That would eliminate the need for the 163rd game, which many believe is unfair like the current one-game wild card playoff. It's hard to determine how individual teams will react to the new dynamics, but history doesn't augur well for either increased spending or improvement among the middle tier. There would be four wild cards in each league, up from two. And since more teams would have a chance at reaching October baseball, more teams would be included in those late-season playoff races.

MLB is considering an expansion to its playoff format that would include seven playoff teams in each league, with six competing in a top three opening round to get a place in the divisional series, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

MLB has long mused about expanding its postseason, now the most restrictive of any major U.S. sport to reach, as a means to expand fan interest and perhaps counteract an ongoing multiyear decline in attendance.

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