After setting a 60-game schedule, one of the biggest changes to come to Major League Baseball this year was an expanded postseason, which increased the number of teams that will advance to October.
Sixteen clubs — split evenly from the American League and National League — will have an opportunity to win the World Series this fall, as opposed to the usual 10 teams in a normal season.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred felt it was best to implement an expanded postseason for numerous reasons. From a financial standpoint, the uptick in games will result in additional TV revenue, which is especially important considering the lack of gate revenue this season.
Manfred also believes an increased playing field incentivizes teams to make more of an effort to compete rather than punt the season away.
While the initial plan was to revert back to the traditional postseason format next season, Manfred revealed an expanded layout will likely carry over into 2021 and beyond, via Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post:
Manfred also said the expanded, 16-team postseason is likely to remain beyond 2020, adding that “an overwhelming majority” of owners had already endorsed the concept before the pandemic. “I think there’s a lot to commend it,” he said, “and it is one of those changes I hope will become a permanent part of our landscape.”
While Manfred hopes to keep the expanded postseason intact for the foreseeable future, the MLB Players Association will have a say in whether it stays or goes. Previous reports indicated that the union wasn’t a fan of the expanded postseason format, so it remains to be seen if the two sides can find common ground.
Dave Roberts awaiting clarity on MLB postseason bubble
In the wake of MLB officially announcing plans for their postseason bubble this year, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts still has a couple of unanswered questions.
“There’s some details I’m not too clear on,” he said of the bubble arrangement. “I understand the first Wild Card Series is at home, and then we kind of get shipped out and bubbled. The family situation, I’m not sure, but I get the idea of a bubble.”
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