Today, commensurate with the start of the regular season – because that’s about as normal as anything this year – the 2020 MLB postseason officially expanded from five teams per league to eight.
The three division winners AND the three division runners up will make the playoffs, as well as the top two remaining records in the league. Those eight teams will be seeded, though it’s not yet entirely clear if it’ll be straight records, or if it’ll be 1-3 division winners, 4-6 division runners up, 7-8 Wild Cards. We’ll find that part out soon enough. For now we do know that the opening round of the postseason will be four three-game series in each league, with the top seed in the series hosting all three games. The four winners of those series will then play in the five-game Division Series, the two winners will then play in the seven-game League Championship Series, and then you head to the World Series.
16 out of 30 teams will make this year’s postseason, so if you don’t make it, you really stink.
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced on Thursday that the 2020 Postseason will expand to 16 teams, beginning with eight best-of-three Wild Card Series preceding the Division Series.
All of the new Postseason games will be exclusively televised by ESPN and TBS. Major League Clubs unanimously approved the expansion of the Postseason via conference call this afternoon, and the Major League Players also have approved the new system.
Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “We are excited to announce the expansion of the 2020 Postseason. This season will be a sprint to a new format that will allow more fans to experience playoff baseball. We look forward to a memorable Postseason concluding a year like no other and appreciate the continued partnership and enthusiasm of ESPN and TBS.”
Tony Clark, the Executive Director of the MLBPA, said: “The opportunity to add playoff games in this already-abbreviated season makes sense for fans, the league and Players. We hope it will result in highly competitive pennant races as well as exciting additional playoff games to the benefit of the industry and all involved heading into next year.”
The higher seeds in the Wild Card Series will host all three games, which will be scheduled for Tuesday, September 29th through Friday, October 2nd. The entire 2020 Postseason schedule will be announced in the weeks ahead.