MLB, Players Association approves playoff expansion for 2020

The two teams announced that the Major Baseball League and MLB Player Association agreed on Thursday to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 teams for the 2020 season.

"This season will be a race to a new shape that will allow more fans to try baseball," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement announcing the expansion. "We look forward to an unforgettable postseason that concludes an unparalleled year."

All teams ranked second in the six divisions will now qualify for the playoffs. The seventh and eighth teams in each of the leagues will be determined by the best record.

The first round of qualifiers scheduled for September 29 - October. 2, Four groups of three games in each league will be played with all matches played on the top-ranked stadium. The rest of the rounds will be of their usual length: the two strings in each league will be a series of five games, while the American League and National League series and the World Series will be a seven-match series.

"We hope this will lead to very competitive high-end races as well as exciting additional playoff games for the benefit of the industry and everyone involved next year," said Tony Clark, CEO of MLBPA, in the statement.

Thursday's agreement also included a surprise: the collection of the luxury tax will be suspended this year, a person familiar with the details told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because nothing has been announced.

The pre-qualification expansion plan was previously part of MLB's proposal to resume the season before the FA ended the talks and asked the league to unilaterally announce a timetable. The last job expanded in 2012.

In each league, the winners will be ranked in Section 1-3, the teams that finish second 4-6 and the teams that have the two best records 7-8. Manfred said the pairs for the first round would be 1 vs. 8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5.

Tiebreaker matches will be eliminated, with ties broken by a face-to-face record, followed by a better record within the team division and a record in the last 20 games within the department. If there is still a draw, then the benchmark will be the last 21 games in the division, then 22, etc.

Teams can finish the regular season with different numbers of matches played; Regular seasons will be postponed at the discretion of Manfred.

ESPN has been given broadcast rights for seven of the eight series of the first round, and TBS has rights for the other in exchange for no additional money as a makeup of the missed games. ESPN and TBS were to split the two wildcard games in the original format.

Players will receive a $ 50 million pool that will be distributed after each round and could increase if fans are allowed out in the stadiums during the post-season.

ESPN sources said that an important aspect for the players is housing the player and the family and entering the stadium during the playoffs.

The change means that 53% of 30 teams will reach the playoffs. If eight teams qualified for the playoffs in each league from 1995 to 2019, 46 teams in or less than 500 would have succeeded, according to research conducted by the Elias Sports Bureau, with an average of just under two teams per season. These teams would have comprised 25 of the AL.

Elias said: There were only three seasons in which all playoff teams will get records: 2000, 2003 and 2009.

The only time in the past ten seasons that eight teams in each league finished at or above 500 was in 2012, according to ESPN's statistical and information research.

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