ST. LOUIS – Major League Baseball officials are reportedly considering changes to the postseason which would result in additional teams qualifying, and would let some teams pick their opponents.
Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports there are discussions to add two teams in each league, in time for the 2022 season.
“In this concept, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series. The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.
The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other.”
If applied to last year’s National League standings, the Dodgers would have had a playoff bye in the first round, Atlanta would have chosen from the Brewers, Mets or Diamondbacks, and St. Louis would have the next crack at it. Whichever Wild Card team was left would have played at the Nationals. Each series in this round would be a best-of-three.
Sherman reports that the regular season series between teams would be used to solve tiebreakers at the end of the season, eliminating the need for a 163rd game.
Any changes in playoff formatting would still have to be negotiated with the players union and potential media partners.