As Major League Baseball continues exploring its options for the 2020 season, there is optimism that an official plan could be unveiled — and agreed to — sometime this week.
Many details still need to be sorted out, but the expected outcome is that most teams will open up the year in their home ballparks. MLB stadiums are additionally expected to serve as the site of a second Spring Training, which could get underway in June.
Club owners, planning to submit a proposal to the players’ union on Tuesday, are aiming for early July to begin the regular season. While a 162-game schedule has already been ruled out, teams could be looking at a revised slate of approximately 80 contests this year.
Other potential changes that may be implemented include division realignment, in effort of limiting travel by clubs. A universal DH is also under consideration to decrease injury risk for pitchers.
The postseason format is also slated to be altered, with seven teams from each league advancing as opposed to the usual five, via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Expanded playoffs similar to the idea first reported by the New York Post in February, with an increase from five to seven teams in each league.
Prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutting down the sports world, reports indicated that MLB was looking to drastically change its playoff system for the 2022 season.
The new format would see the postseason playing field expand to seven teams. Clubs that finish with the best record in each league would additionally receive a first-round bye, while teams with the second-best records could choose their opponents in the opening series.
The 2020 postseason won’t bring about significant changes of that nature, but the increase in teams that advance should add more intrigue to the end of the season.
As for when the playoffs may get start this year, earlier reports suggested they could be pushed to November should the regular season be extended into late October.
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