Categories: MLBSports

Has the expanded MLB Playoff fixed baseball?

Before the 2022 Major League Baseball season, the MLB decided to expand the playoff format from 10 teams to 12.

This meant there would be six teams representing each league, the three division winners, and then the three best remaining records.

This expansion was met with a lot of debate, but it ultimately helped the Phillies as they were able to take the final spot in the 2022 playoffs before making a run for the World Series crown.

Through 50 games in the second season of the expanded playoffs, I think it is safe to say that the expansion has improved Major League Baseball for the better.

In the first season of the expanded MLB playoff, there were only 14 of the 30 MLB squads that were “going for it.”

The Brewers and Orioles missed out on the post-season, the last remaining teams with winning records.

It demonstrated why the initial thought of a 14-team playoff would have been crushing for the league, as it would have rewarded mediocrity. While I was against the expansion from 10 to 12 teams, I believe that this season has given clubs ample time to try and find ways to get into the postseason.

If the season were to end today, there would be six new teams in the post-season. While we are only 50 games into a 162-game schedule, it is safe to say that more MLB teams are trying to compete this season.

Currently, the Rangers, Twins, Orioles, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Pirates would all get into the playoffs. The Mariners, Blue Jays, Guardians, Phillies, Cardinals, and Padres would all have dropped out of the hunt.

One of the benefits of the new MLB CBA is that prospects are being called up earlier in seasons to try and win. Besides new rules that tried to disincentive teams from holding back players to manipulate their service time, with the extra playoff slot, teams are trying to win those extra games to try to get in.

The Arizona Diamondbacks did not hesitate to bring top prospect Corbin Carroll to the Major League roster. Carroll has a .889 OPS on the season and is one of the favorites to win NL Rookie of the Year. He even signed an 8-year, $111 million contract, a full commitment for Arizona. The Diamondbacks are currently 29-21 and have the third-best record in the National League.

As I said before, we are only 50 games into the MLB season (give or take).

There is still plenty of time for the outlook of the playoffs to change. There will be injuries, trades, hot/cold streaks, players heating up, and prospects making an impact on their team. There is no way to tell how the end of the season will look until we get there.

With this being said, it is nice to see that more teams are still in the hunt for the postseason.

With just two months until the MLB Trade Deadline, things will certainly shake up. Teams will decide whether they want to buy or sell, and the hunt for the World Series will officially begin.


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