Major League Baseball’s playoffs are about to get a little bigger this season.
They’re also fast approaching: The last matches on the calendar are scheduled for October 5. The playoffs begin two days later and feature a 12-team field, two more than the previous year. The new format specifically includes a best-of-three first knockout round between the section champion with the third-best record and the three clubs ranked first in the fourth ace standings.
More playoff entrants could lead to some very interesting matchups: The San Diego Padres and their new acquisition Juan Soto versus the defending champion Atlanta Braves? Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals against Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and the Philadelphia Phillies?
Based on the results of the last week of activities these two series may see the light of the day.
The new format for the first round is similar to that currently used for the NCAA “Super Regional” round: three games will be played on three consecutive days, October 7–9, at the stadium of the most competitive team. ,
After this round, the series will be played as per the normal format. The Section Series would be best-of-five games, while the Championship Series and World Series would be four-of-seven.
Here’s a little more information about the Revised MLB Series:
What’s new in the first round?
These two-three replace the singles game that was going on since 2012.
Six teams each from the American and Nationals would qualify for the playoffs, including the three section winners. The three teams with the best records are added to this list, ranking the best second in each league.
The two best records in each league pass through to this first round. Monday through Tuesday, those teams will be the Houston Astros and New York Yankees in the American and the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets in the National.
The first round will oppose the other four formations. The No. 3 and 4 ranked teams will host the teams with the sixth and fifth best records, respectively.
Why are the playoffs starting so late?
The Fall Classic will end in November before a champion is crowned. This is mainly in relation to the shutdown of work last winter. A lockout imposed by the owners postponed the start of the season by a week. The players and owners managed to salvage the 162-game schedule, but in doing so, only moved the start of the season to April 7, not March 31.
The end of the calendar, originally scheduled for October 2, has been postponed by three days, so the series is getting stretched.
What happened to the suicide match?
Game 163 is now a thing of the past. Bucky Dent’s home run for the Yankees in 1978. Matt Holliday’s game-winning run for the Colorado Rockies in 2007: Those days are over.
If there is a tie for any playoff spot, a mathematical tiebreaker will be used instead of the extra tie. This will be the first record between the two teams involved.
If the tie persists, the team with the best intra-section record will qualify. If that’s not enough, the others break down _ each more complex than the other _ until a solution is found.
Tiebreakers are unlikely to be used in the US, but keep an eye on the races in the Nationals. The Braves and Mets are neck and neck in the East, while the Milwaukee Brewers and Phillies are battling for the final playoff spot.
Who are the favourites?
The Dodgers dominated the entire season with a roster that included Mookie Betts, Trey Turner, Will Smith, and Freddie Freeman. They could hit the 110-win plateau.
In the US, the Astros already have more than 100 wins on the clock and Cy-Young is betting on Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Jordan Alvarez in addition to potential winner Justin Verlander.
New Yorkers should also be considered. The Yankees started the season pretty well, but are 30–31 since the All-Star Game break. Including two aces in Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, the Mets have possibly the most depth in baseball on the mound.