Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. It also amps up the drama of the game — if one team uses their fifth starter and the other their ace, there’s a great risk-reward story to be told. The games will be fast and furious, wall-to-wall baseball: as many as 24 games in four days to settle the Wild Card round, followed by another blitz of between 12 and 20 games over a six-day span. The divisional round will take place over five consecutive days, followed by a day off, followed by as many as seven consecutive days of championship series play. Who doesn’t love the idea of an 8-seed team beating a 1-seed team with their backs against the wall? We’ve seen the season shortened to only 60 games due to the pandemic, a runner starting on 2nd base in extra innings, 7-inning double-headers, and … The 2020 season has been full of rules changes and convenient one-season gadgetry, but that was done out of necessity. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. That’s not to say it can’t happen — at least theoretically. The rollout of this new structure isn’t as capricious as that, but it’s close. Updated: Monday, October 26, 2020 10:52 AM ET, Park Factors The two off days in the championship series enabled the same strategy. With the 16-team change factored in, those odds dropped to 14.9 percent. I’d like to see Chaim Bloom take a dip into the free agent pool. Likening it to March Madness, the allure of low-seeded upsets bring a sense of drama to early round action. The way the math worked, it was hardly “strategy” to switch to a four-man rotation. MLB couldn’t plan the bubbles without extensive involvement of the teams that own the selected postseason stadiums, right? You can’t — teams will submit 40-man rosters to MLB by September 20 and “quarantine” the whole group. The fifth game of the divisional series took place six days after the first — two travel days, one after the second and one after the fourth game, accounted for the time. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. It was simply the only way to do business. The Dodgers happen to have Tony Gonsolin — for my money the best fifth starter of the bunch — but other teams would likely have pursued rotation upgrades had they known this detail. There are plenty of opportunities for shenanigans. Yesterday, the league announced another structural change: The 2020 @MLB Postseason will begin with the AL Wild Card Series on Tuesday, 9/29, while Game One of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas will be played on Tuesday, 10/20. After all, you never want to signal that mediocrity is enough. For example, the Rays won the AL East. Personally, I’m not fond of giving teams byes in the playoffs. I’m against handing out byes, but I’m not against earning a better chance at essentially getting one. Of course, just because something creates interesting tactical questions doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. If one team jumps out to a lead, they might consider pulling their ace early — the Jack Flaherty gambit. It sounds weird, offhand, to have the NL playoffs in AL stadiums and vice versa. The fifth starters for the 16 teams with the best playoff odds aren’t exactly an imposing group: Your mileage may vary on which of these pitchers are actually their teams’ fifth starters, but it’s a rough cut of the kind of pitching talent that would show up in these games. The National League playoffs will take place in Texas — in Houston and Arlington for the NLDS, then Arlington for the NLCS. 1 seed and a matchup with the winner of the same league's respective Wild Card game. While nothing is ever a given in baseball, this all but guarantees a top seed will have every opportunity to have that bye that Good_Better_Betts suggested handed to them. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. The World Series will be played in Arlington, too, and the Rangers are not yet mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. Uh… okay, this one isn’t settled yet. I acknowledge that there comes a cheapening, in this sense. Is upgrading from short rest to full rest twice in the next series worth the difference between pitching your fifth starter and pitching your ace on short rest? For this year — and presumably this year only — the divisional and championship rounds will be played without off days. Hours before the season started, MLB announced an expanded playoff format that will see 16 teams qualify. And please don't worry, your report will be anonymous. Yesterday, the league announced another structural change: The 2020 @MLB Postseason will begin with the AL Wild Card Series on Tuesday, 9/29, while Game One of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas will be played on Tuesday, 10/20. Major League and Minor League Baseball data provided by Major League Baseball. As such, they would start opening round with one win already under their belt. The second base options for 2021 and beyond. Before MLB announced the postseason format change, FanGraphs gave the Dodgers, projected to be MLB’s best team with 36 wins, a 19.5 percent chance at winning the World Series. The former cadence of the playoffs lent itself to shortened rotations. Martinez, Chaim Bloom, Red Sox take five players off 40-man roster, MLB Roundup 10/26: The Dodgers are one win away from a title. Admins may or may not choose to remove the comment or block the author. I’m a firm believer in having to continue to earn your spot in each round. As the only one of the four host cities not currently in playoff position — and fortuitously for MLB, the team with the newest stadium — Arlington was a natural choice for the World Series. Bubbles, or lack thereof, aside, there will be one major structural change to the postseason.

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