Gary.

2019 MLB Season

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I think the current baseball playoff structure is great as is. The teams have already played 162 games over the last 6 months, so player fatigue is very real. Baseball in cold conditions is often not good baseball. Competing against the NFL, college football NBA, and NHL for attention if the playoff field expanded would possibly result in negative opinions that the MLB doesn’t matter. As already mentioned, a smaller playoff field makes the regular season matter more. If you make it, you were one of the best and not just filling a spot when more than half the league makes the playoffs. 

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22 hours ago, the admiral said:

There shouldn't even be ten postseason teams, let alone twelve or fourteen. That's what the one-hundred-and-sixty-two games are for.

 

I partially agree, and partially disagree, for the exact same reason.  There's 162 games.  That's a s-ton of games.  If your team has nothing to play for come July, then that's a lot of meaningless baseball left to attend/watch (or not attend / not watch.)  It keeps people engaged, and (I assume) positively impacts attendance when more teams still have a shot at something.  I've supported the losingest team in pro sports history, and it would have been a lot easier if they had a shot at even one more game.

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I actually like a 10-team field, but my biggest complaint about baseball's current playoff structure is that going to the one-game Wild Card round really increased the chances that a deserving team gets screwed over by nothing more than geography — the 2015 Pirates (second-best record in baseball*) and 2018 Cubs (tied after 162 for best record in National League) both not making the NLDS are probably the poster children for this.

 

Even though it would certainly disadvantage my team, I'd prefer a shift back to a two-division format in each league, which would guarantee that the top two teams in each league qualify for the LDS (first Wild Card of three would get a bye).

 

*Perhaps worth noting 2015 was a weird year, since the Pirates actually lost that Wild Card game to the third-best record in baseball, the Cubs (which IMO, further strengthens the two-division argument)

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I’d go 12-team, but seeded by record regardless of division. That way, teams with under 95 wins are at a disadvantage. Heck, 10-team seeded off of record alone would work, especially in a two-division format. 
 

Also, no teams with under 90 wins can qualify, unless there aren’t enough teams with over 90.

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If the division winner that is seeded lower than a wild-card still plays the same-length series, then that's fine.  However I wouldn't support a plan where a division winner ends up in the 1-game play-in while a wild card team gets a spot in the NLDS.  There needs to be some advantage to winning your division, even if you start out on the road.  Same with NFL - I'm fine with division winners playing on the road, but at least they get the same 1-game as the wild-cards and the only 'penalty' is a road game.

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That’s why I support the two-division format. That way, division winners have some guarantee of getting a higher spot.

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I have no strong feelings except for being on the anti-one-game-WC train. I can't believe there's a single-game playoff for anything in baseball. All of the existential crises about three true outcomes and shifts and whatever else, but that feels more antithetical to the game than any of the rest.

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I think it should be 12 get in with 2 top seeds in each league getting a bye and other 4 play a 3 game series. And it’s pretty perfect in how the series go 3 games for the wild card round, then 5 divisional games, and 7 championship and World Series games

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History doesn’t favor teams with long layovers. Baseball is an almost everyday sport. I don’t think teams would actually want a bye round. 
 

The one game playoff creates suspense. It is one of the smartest things MLB has done in recent history. Two must see games aren’t a bad thing to have. Last night was great for the sport. 

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45 minutes ago, Brandon9485 said:

History doesn’t favor teams with long layovers. Baseball is an almost everyday sport. I don’t think teams would actually want a bye round. 
 

The one game playoff creates suspense. It is one of the smartest things MLB has done in recent history. Two must see games aren’t a bad thing to have. Last night was great for the sport. 

I don’t feel having 5-6 days off would be that big of a difference.”, that’s shorter than the all star break. Especially if they are getting practices in during that time.

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2 hours ago, dont care said:

I don’t feel having 5-6 days off would be that big of a difference.”, that’s shorter than the all star break. Especially if they are getting practices in during that time.

 

5-6 days is longer than the all-star break, and the playoffs don’t have the luxury of playing back into form. 

FWIW Justin Verlander lost 2 World Series with the Detroit Tigers. In both occasions, the Tigers had 6-7 days off waiting for the NLCS to conclude. Verlander attributed Detroit’s losses to the long layovers. St. Louis beat them in 5, and the Giants swept. 

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I like the one game wild card because it significantly increased the need to win your division.

 

Did what happened the the pirates(a team that, for the record, i am a fan of) suck? yes.

 

 

But, should have won the division and it wouldnt have mattered.

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1 hour ago, Brandon9485 said:

 

5-6 days is longer than the all-star break, and the playoffs don’t have the luxury of playing back into form. 

FWIW Justin Verlander lost 2 World Series with the Detroit Tigers. In both occasions, the Tigers had 6-7 days off waiting for the NLCS to conclude. Verlander attributed Detroit’s losses to the long layovers. St. Louis beat them in 5, and the Giants swept. 

 

Don't forget how Rocktober ended because Cleveland blew a 3-1 lead.

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4 hours ago, Brandon9485 said:

History doesn’t favor teams with long layovers. Baseball is an almost everyday sport. I don’t think teams would actually want a bye round.

 

I actually did some research on this for a now scrapped article idea a few months ago.

 

I researched 20+ years of postseason match-ups and could find no discernible evidence that having time off either helps or hurts a team's World Series chances.

 

The only advantage I can see to having time off is that it allows you the opportunity to set up your rotation better. But if you lose game one, any advantage you gain from this goes out the window. If you lose game one, that means either game two or game three are must-wins, and you will likely be going up against the opposing team's ace in one of those games.

 

At best, having time off gives a team a marginal pitching advantage that nullifies itself by game three. More likely, it's as important as what each side had for breakfast that morning.

 

You are right though in that most players hate having time off in the postseason. But that's because players just want to get the season over with at this point in the year. A off-day in October usually means going to the ballpark for practice. After seven straight months of baseball, practicing baseball is about the last thing anyone wants to do. Anyone who's 100% healthy at this point in the year either physically or mentally, hasn't played.

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