Last Updated on June 26, 2020
After weeks of tense negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA, there finally appears to be some hope on the horizon for a baseball season in 2020. According to multiple reports, the two sides are coming closer to a deal. MLB’s latest proposal for a 2020 season includes:
- 60-70 game season
- Mid-July start date
- An expanded postseason format (16 teams)
What Will The Season Schedule Look Like?
A baseball season is always compared to a marathon, but the 2020 regular season will be an all-out sprint. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the season could begin on July 19 or 20 while CBS Sports’ Jim Bowden is reporting that games could begin as early as July 15. Starting a 65-game season on July 19 would mean that the regular season would last until late September with the postseason beginning thereafter.
Inclement weather could pose a problem as there won’t be many off days for makeup games, but expect a healthy dose of doubleheaders if necessary. MLB does not want the postseason to last into November so finishing the regular season on time is going to be a priority. Of course, the unfortunate possibility of a second wave of coronavirus could knock out the entire season for good.
What Will The Expanded Postseason Format Look Like?
Sixteen teams in the postseason would be unprecedented in baseball. Part of the allure of the postseason is baseball stems from the exclusivity of the playoffs. Up until 1969, only one team from each league made the World Series while every other team was sent home. Slowly, but steadily over time, MLB has added more and more teams to the postseason.
Some call it fun to add more teams into the mix, while others consider it an abomination to the game. Regardless, the expanded postseason is here to stay.
The first and most obvious way MLB can set up this format is by simply lining up seeding in each league based on overall record. One plays eight, two plays seven, and so on. The “Wild Card Series” could be five games, like the Division Series.
With that said, MLB might still want to reward division winners. There’s the possibility that the lower-seeded teams will have to battle in a short three-game series or even a single game elimination. Those win-or-go-home games to determine the Wild Card have led to some absolute classics in recent years.
Either way, it looks like MLB is moving towards a new and exciting format when the 2020 season eventually starts.
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