MLB Playoff proposal ridiculous, here’s how it should work

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 28: A Toronto Blue Jays fan holds a sign about the teamâs drive to the playoffs during MLB game action against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 28, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 28: A Toronto Blue Jays fan holds a sign about the teamâs drive to the playoffs during MLB game action against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 28, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
Phillies
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 23: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks to the dugout after striking out in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

The second problem of the diluted value of regular season games is even greater in baseball because of the 162-game season. Take the NBA, for example. Of the thirty teams, sixteen make the playoffs, or 53%. The first round is practically a throwaway because of the talent disparity. But during the regular season, we have seen more healthy players sitting out games to “rest” for the playoffs. It screws over the customer, who paid to see these stars play.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

Baseball already has a visibility problem for its best players. Do we really want to see Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, and Bryce Harper sitting out games if they don’t matter as much? Do we want to see Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Nola, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and others skipping starts?

With all that said, I think that baseball has a great opportunity to do the playoff expansion correctly, while maintaining high value on the regular season. With that, I look to the NFL. For those not familiar with the NFL’s playoff system, each division winner (four from each conference) makes the playoffs, plus two wild-card teams. The top two division winners receive first-round byes.

The wild-card round pitches the two remaining division winners (at home) against the two wild-card teams. Those winners are re-seeded and go to the site of the first-round byes for the divisional round. The winners match up in the conference championship game, before facing off in the Super Bowl.

facebooktwitterreddit