MLB expands playoffs to 16 teams for shortened 2020 season, adds best-of-three Wild Card Series
Major League Baseball will have 16 playoff teams in the 60-game 2020 season, the league announced Thursday night. The league and union restarted talks about an expanded postseason -- a concept that previously came up in negotiations about the 2020 season that ultimately proved fruitless -- earlier in the week and wanted to strike a deal before the 2020 season started Thursday night. They were able to succeed.
Here are some notable features of the new format:
- All first-round games will be part of best-of-three series. The games will also all be played at the home of the higher seeded-team, eliminating the need for a travel day. The "Wild Card Series" will all take place between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2.
- The league and MLBPA agreed on a $50million postseason bonus pool for players, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic. MLB had previously offered $25 million in negotiations last month.
- All eight second-place teams (every division) will qualify for the 16-team playoff format. The seventh and eighth teams will be chosen by the best record among other teams. Teams will be seeded one through eight based on the 2020 season record.
- The division winners will be seeded 1-3; the second-place teams will be seeded 4-6 and the final two "wild card" teams will be seeded 7-8