MLB Reportedly Exploring Expanding Playoff Format to 14 Teams With Selection Sunday-Type Show


The MLB postseason may get a whole lot more interesting.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, MLB is considering changing the playoff format from a five to seven teams in each league competing for the World Series beginning in 2022.

The new format would consist of two division winners and four wild-card teams playing in a best-of-three series the first round, while the team with the best record gets a bye. The division winners and wild card with the best record would host all three games while the lesser wild card teams would get no home games in the first round.

Oh, but it gets better from here.

The second-best division winner in the league would get to choose between the three lesser wild-card teams which one it would want to play, and the other division winner choosing between the remaining two, leaving the final wild card to play the wild-card team with the best record.

The teams choosing its opponents would play out on a live show the final Sunday of the regular season, a la Selection Sunday for March Madness.

The new format would give MLB six best-of-three series to start the postseason, with the second game of each of those series a potential clincher, and third game sudden death.

It also eliminates the problem of the current format where the two wild-card winners' seasons come down to a one-game playoff, which may incentivize teams to spend more to build a playoff contender since the season would not come down to just one game, per Sherman.

Any changes must be collectively bargained with the MLB players' union. The current CBA expires after next season, as well as TV deals with ESPN and Turner. FOX currently is under contract as the exclusive broadcast partner for the World Series, two Division Series and a League Championship Series through 2028.

With the other TV deals expiring and a potential new format with an extra round could allow MLB to dip its toes into streaming services such as Amazon or DAZN.

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