Prior to the first pitch of 2020, the MLB Postseason was expanded. Here’s who would make the contest if the season ended today.
One of the more challenging components of the shortened 2020 season is understanding all of the changes that the game has undergone in order to become more efficient in a COVID-world. One of those changes is the expanded MLB Postseason.
So, in an effort to help baseball fans better understand what the playoffs will look like in 2020, we will provide you with a weekly look at which teams would make it to the contest if the regular season ended today. Before we do that, however, let’s take a deep-dive into the new expanded format.
The first and most obvious question is, by how many teams will the MLB Postseason be expanded by? The answer to that question is 16 total teams: 8 teams from each league (AL and NL).
The way seeding in each league will be determined is as follows:
- The 1-3 seeds will be awarded to the three division winners based on record
- The 4-6 seeds will be awarded to the three 2nd place finishers in each division based on record
- The 7-8 seeds will be awarded to the two 3rd place finishers with the best record
Then, just like in any bracket tournament, the 1-seed faces the 8-seed, the 2-seed faces the 7-seed, etc. Here’s a neat infographic I’ve designed. Feel free to download and share!
Now, prior to this season, when there were 10 postseason-eligible teams (5 in each league), MLB instituted a 4-round format. In this format, 2 Wild Card teams in each league would play an elimination game for the 4-seed in their division. From there, the Division Series would be a best-of-5; the Championship Series a best-of-7; and the World Series would also be a best-of-7.
In this current expanded format, the Division Series, Championship Series, and World Series would all remain the same. The difference is that all 8-postseason eligible teams would play a best-of-3 round before the Division Series.
So, without further ado, which teams would be eligible for the 2020 MLB Postseason?
Fortunately, we’ve done all the work for you, and if you’d like to skip reading this, just take a look at our featured image (TOP) for the answers. To determine seeding, we utilized Baseball-Reference to find up-to-date standings for every MLB team.
- New York Yankees | 16 – 7 | .696
- Minnesota Twins | 16 – 8 | .667
- Oakland Athletics | 16 – 8 | .667
- Tampa Bay Rays | 15 – 9 | .625
- Cleveland Indians | 14 – 9 | .609
- Houston Astros | 13 – 10 | .565
- Baltimore Orioles | 12 – 11 | .522
- Chicago White Sox | 13 – 11 | .542
Above, you’ll notice that the Twins and Athletics are technically tied for the 2-seed. As a tiebreaker, we utilized B-R‘s MLB Detailed Standings, which has Minnesota over Oakland. They make their determination based on Run Differential (Rdiff).
- Los Angeles Dodgers | 18 -7 | .720
- Chicago Cubs | 15 – 7 | .682
- Atlanta Braves | 14 – 11 | .560
- Colorado Rockies | 13 – 10 | .565
- Miami Marlins | 9 -8 | .529
- Milwaukee Brewers | 10-11 | .476
- Arizona Diamondbacks | 13 – 11 | .542
- San Diego Padres | 13 – 12 | .520