Last week’s College Baseball Super Regionals, oops, MLB Wild Card round pared 16 playoff teams down to 8 through a best of 3 format. Today kicks off the Divisional Round and a return to a more normal MLB playoff format.
Get used to expanded playoffs as Manfred and the owners see broadcast dollar signs but expect the number of teams to be 14 with the top seeds in each league receiving a first round bye. I do wonder if time off is an advantage in baseball.
The A’s and Astros have set their game 1 and 2 starters. One fascinating story line in the making is the likelihood of Mike Fiers, the whistleblower on the trash can scandal, taking the mound against his former squad. Fiers did not start in any of the 10 games Oakland played against Houston this year. The A’s deny avoiding the match up during the regular season and say they’d be fine with Fiers take the mound this series. Dusty Baker says Fiers name hasn’t come up all year in Houston, which is hard to believe.
San Diego vs. LA has the potential to be another great interdivision series. Little brother is coming for big brother, who doesn’t want to get toppled. Mike Clevinger’s availability could swing a game and the series. And he just might be ready to go.
There’s another genuine rivalry on tap in Rays vs. Yankees. Bean balls, scuffles, close games…..and now they share the same hotel.
In other news, the legendary Bob Gibson passed away Friday night. He faced the trials of racism that sadly still resonate in society today.
Oh yeah, this is an Angels site. ESPN lays out the obvious on what the Angels need to do to build a winner around Mike Trout. The great news is there’s plenty of what the Angels need available on the free agent market. More arms than likely contenders buying them, and some likely difference makers.
Enjoy the playoffs with your friends here at CtPG. We’ll have game threads each day there are games. And I have an interview on top. I’ll give you a hint, we share initials.
5-3 A’s bottom 5th. Yes!
Keuchel 6-2 WHIP 1.089 $18.5M a yr ………HJR 5-2 WHIP 1.149 $20M a yr
Justin Upton 5 yrs $21.2M…… 😣 😩 .
Year 1 of contract
Justin Upton: 3.1 WAR
So, I think I’m actually starting to think I like the new playoff format. Does that make me a bad human being?
Things I like:
Things I don’t like:
How do all of you feel so far?
You could fix that a bit by making the tournament smaller – 14 teams – with the two best records in each league getting a first round bye. The remaining 12 teams battle it out in the first round with the best record teams set to play the winner of the games involving the wildcard teams.
So 1st and second in each division make the playoffs with one wildcard from league. Best record in AL and best record in NL get a bye.
I’d like a slightly smaller 12 teams – 3 division winners + 3 wild cards per league. The top 2 division winners per league get byes in the first round. The first round is a 3-game series with the 3 wild cards and the worst division winner from each league.
I like this as well. The only negative is the lack of emphasis on being the top seeds. There’s essentially no difference between being #1 or #2
12 is good
Yep, I think 14 teams (7 from each league) is primo. #1 seeds get a bye while the remaining teams play a 3 game series in 3 days at the high seeds home field. Top seeds should get their pick of opponents every round too. Pace is equally important, games need to be played consecutive days so rest is an actual advantage for high seeded clubs. #1 teams should be playing an opponent who’s on their 3rd or 4th game in as many days and likely has a depleted pitching staff.
Something along these lines makes sense to me.
I definitely prefer best 2 out of 3 to a one game situation. However, as you stated, baseball is so random that any team can win 2 of 3 so it penalizes the top seeds. It won’t be long before a 1 or 2 seed goes down.
I’m pretty good with giving three division winners 4 days off prior to starting the playoffs with the 2 traditional wild card teams playing a best of 3 series.
Bockey, where close to half of the teams make the playoffs.
If MLB and MiLB were broke then it would need fixing, it just was not broke. Winning the division or having the best record in the league was what ever team stride for. Now just making the playoffs is going to be rewarded. When currently a wild card team wins the whole deal nobody moans, but when bad teams start winning the WS then the regular season will mean very little. Oh the first 5 years will be a boost then things will start going downhill. Manfred will male the league just one league because that is what NFL and NBA are. he will soon, very soon have MLB as something that you or me won’t recognize.
The game was a beautiful and well paced game. Spring to Fall with all summer long to enjoy the game of Baseball.
Changes to the game that you have seen or will see.
Sliding into second base nicely, no being rough taking out the double play.
No taking out a catcher to score a run. Play nice.
Superball is in play to increase fan appell. Homer or K, that is what you want to achieve.
Batters stepping out of the box to adjust batting gloves then crossing the plate and circling the catcher then the Ump before getting back in the box, really is this really what is needed?
Pitchers having to use the rosin between pitches and taking their time.
Reducing the minor leagues by 40 teams so less exposure to the game to the youth.
Charging kids leagues uniform suppliers for the use of MLB product names so now you see the Seals, Lions, Sharks, Owls etc. No starting out as fans of any certain teams in one’s youth.
Expanding the total amount of playoff teams so more teams can cash in.
Coming to a MLB Team near you, Robo Umpiring.
Expansion for more money.
Runner on second to star off extra innings.
We have had looking the other way if you were cheating with steroids or trash can banging to just plan sign stealing. Penalty not much. How many cheaters if Steroid players just kicked out of the game. How many more cheaters are there going to be when another way to cheat comes to light? A lot because nothing will happen.
I for one do not dislike everything that has changed, but I do dislike and do not trust Manfred with control of the peoples game.
Now get off my lawn.
15 teams, one division, the #1 team goes to the World Series. There!
The expanded playoffs with any wild cards, and especially this year, makes it a tournament, which is ok, too.
Ahhh like the old days when there was only 20 teams and 2 leagues and the World Series was actually the 2 best
That probably is the fairest way, actually and feels like the most accurate. The purist in me likes it for those reasons. Unfortunately, it’s also just a lot less fun.
I like the one-game wild card play-in. It’s a winner-take-all, which is exciting, and it gives winning the division a nice reward.
I feel like three-game series are the worst of both worlds. It’s still very random but it doesn’t have any of the story lines that five- or seven-game series can develop. After the first game, one team has its back against the wall. There aren’t any sort of real comebacks since any team can win two in a row.
I think the recent move to 10 teams per league worked well. It made winning the division worthwhile, gave us an exciting one-game play-in for the wild cards, and then we got to the real playoffs where we got series that could actually play out in interesting ways.
I liked the expanded playoffs if only because it meant that the Angels still had an outside chance of making the post season up to the last few days of the regular season. I see this as the primary point in favor of expansion.
If it were up to me I’d have each division winner in along with the best records out of the remaining teams to make six teams in each league. Ties in record would be decided by a single-game playoff added to the end of the regular season (like now). Teams with the top two records (again in each league) get a bye for the first round which is best of 3 games. The second round would be sure to include the two best records and remain best of 5 games while the League Championships and World Series remain best of 7 games. So not very different from the previous year’s playoffs save for an extra team involved and the wild card series being three games rather than one. Winning brings an advantage and its less likely teams with losing records make it in (but can still win the division).