MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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Jul 15, 2005
7,296
Gallows Hill
how I wouild fix baseball

1 DH in both leagues
2 25 sec pitch clock
3 if a team is up by 10 runs or more after 6 innings game can be called
4 extra innings starting in the 11th a team gets a runner on first to start 12th 1st and 2nd 13th on bases loaded reg season only
5 136 game season no interleage div games + 18 all other games + 6
I really like every one of these ideas. The only one that isn’t really feasible is number 3. The sponsors already paid for the ad time on TV.
 

joyofsox

empty, bleak
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Jul 14, 2005
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extra innings starting in the 11th a team gets a runner on first to start 12th 1st and 2nd 13th on bases loaded reg season only
Back in early 2018 I did some research.

2017 - Regular Season Games - 2,430
Extra Inning Games - 182 (7.5%)
Games Lasting 10 Innings - 87 (3.68%)
Games Lasting 11 Innings - 51 (2.1%)
Games Lasting 12 Innings - 20 (0.8%)
Games Lasting 13 innings - 12 (0.5%)
Games Lasting 14+ Innings - 12 (0.5%)

7.5% of a team's 162-game schedule is 12 games. That's two games per month, one game going into extra innings every two weeks.

Almost half of those extra inning games - 48% - were done in 10 innings.

Only 44 out of 2,430 games lasted more than 11 innings: 1.8%.

2 out of every 100 games (an average of three games per team per season) lasting more than two extra-innings is NOT a problem.

Plus: If both teams begin every extra inning with a man on second, they have an equal chance to score. Just like they do now, starting off with the bases empty. In other words, there is no actual advantage being gained here to have games end quicker. There will simply be more games in which each team scores 1 or 2 or however many runs in an extra inning and the game - still tied - goes on.

****

Also, there already exists a rule (5.07(c)) stating the pitcher must deliver the ball within 12 seconds with the bases empty. Maybe MLB could tell the umpires to start enforcing it.
 

Rough Carrigan

reasons within Reason
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Jesus, no.
No more playoff teams.
Do they want to make this like the 1980's NHL where 16 out of the league's 21 teams made the playoffs every season?
No. It's already enough.
Enforce the time limits between pitches. Get the pitchers and hitters to both be ready.
 

keninten

lurker
Nov 24, 2005
588
Tennessee
The only changes I`d like to see are some kind of electronic communication between the catcher and pitcher.

Also a clock that starts when the pitcher receives the ball back after each play or pitch, say 45 seconds to start. Seconds could be shaved off as the players and umpires adjust to using the clock. Maybe a timeout per inning or 9 per game. For coaches visits, players discussions, and strategizing.
 

jose melendez

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Adding playoffs teams is a great way to make the regular season meaningless.

I liked the wild card playoff because it gave a real incentive to win the division. That said I always thought it would be best to do the wildcard as best of three, all at the better team's yard, and have the second day be a double header if needs be. Playoff double header would be awesome.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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Jul 20, 2005
4,050
Boston, MA
Adding playoffs teams is a great way to make the regular season meaningless.

I liked the wild card playoff because it gave a real incentive to win the division. That said I always thought it would be best to do the wildcard as best of three, all at the better team's yard, and have the second day be a double header if needs be. Playoff double header would be awesome.
They need to work on pace of play before scheduling a playoff double header. That could easily end up being 8 or 9 hours total. Who could sit through that on the couch, never mind in person? (Aside from all of us who watched all 18 innings of 2018 World Series game 3.)
 

edoug

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Jul 15, 2005
3,185
About the reality tv twist part, I'm confused. I thought they banned Roses.
 
Aug 11, 2019
387
Also, there already exists a rule (5.07(c)) stating the pitcher must deliver the ball within 12 seconds with the bases empty. Maybe MLB could tell the umpires to start enforcing it.
They also will have to enforce the rule about keeping the batter in the box for that to work. It's pretty simple: if the batter isn't ready, call a strike; if the batter is ready but the pitchers is not, call a ball--automatically and start the clock again.
 

reggiecleveland

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Terrible idea. Baseball, not long ago was the sport you had to finish 1st to get into the post season. Pennant races between good teams are exciting. All this does is make pennant races between. 500 teams.

One wildcard is the answer, eliminate the 2nd wildcard.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
40,814

Crucially, there’s also a material difference between tiers. Home-field advantage is worth less in MLB than in other major American leagues. In the playoffs, since 2005, hosts have won around 56 percent of games. In a standard seven-game set among even teams, therefore, a better regular-season record is worth about 3.8 percentage points in series win probability.

But in a three-game series? With all three games hosted by the higher seed? The win probability difference is 18 percentage points.

That’s if we consider a hypothetical world of absolute parity — where each team has a 50 percent chance of winning a game against another at a neutral site. In that world, under MLB’s proposed system, here’s what first-round playoff odds would look like:

  • The top seed has a 100 percent chance of advancing
  • A non-top-seed division winner has a 59 percent chance of advancing
  • The top wild card has a 59 percent chance of advancing
  • A normal wild card has a 41 percent chance of advancing
Sprinkle in relative team strength, plus the “pick-your-opponent” scheme, and gaps in win probability widen. Those gaps are absolutely worth striving for
 

JMDurron

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Jul 15, 2005
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I'm not a fan of this proposal, but it makes sense on one level, if your focus is on trying to discourage teams from tanking. "Pennant races between .500 teams" would be preferable to "We're not winning 95+ games, so let's tank for prospects/draft picks" if someone in MLB is thinking that providing positive incentives for mediocre teams to try to win is preferable to punishing bad teams for failing so impressively (and making their fans apathetic in the process).
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
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Jul 15, 2005
16,526
Astoria
I don't mind expanding the number of playoff teams but I think it would need to be coupled with shortening the playoff series. There should not be 2 off days between any games. A 7 game series should be a maximum of 9 days with only 1 day off between travel.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
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Jul 15, 2005
49,933
First post in this thread, need to think and read about this more, but two points in its favor:

1) It would eliminate the current one-game abomination, absurd that a team could theoretically be the second best team in MLB and eliminated by a single red-hot SP.

2) It would eliminate the part of the current system where if the best two teams in the league are in the same division, they play each other in the division series.

The 2015 NL playoffs had both of these, the best three teams in baseball were all in the NL Central. PIT went 98-64 but had no chance against a then unhittable Arrietta, then the Cubs played the Cardinals (best record in MLB), which was unfair to both.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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It seems odd to propose a change to the playoff format now when there will likely be two more teams added in the next 5 years. Why not just wait for the necessary reshuffling of divisions to come up with a change to the playoffs?
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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It seems odd to propose a change to the playoff format now when there will likely be two more teams added in the next 5 years. Why not just wait for the necessary reshuffling of divisions to come up with a change to the playoffs?
Right this. Once we get to 32 teams then figure it out. If it is 8 divisions with 4 teams each, you can go 4 division winners + 2 or 4 wild cards. Much more simple.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
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Oct 19, 2008
12,408
How can we work a Home Run Derby into this?
Play all the games in the Bidet
These are brilliant responses to this monstrosity. I had the same initial negative reaction.

But, I could support a slimmed down version if it were paired with expansion to 32 teams so that there is a balanced schedule and no inter-league play and they are adding the DH to the NL so that the American League team isn’t made to play with an automatic out in the lineup for half of the World Series games.

The slimmed down version would be that the two teams with the best records, regardless of whether they are division winners or wild cards, get a bye in the first round, the next two best records (or division winners of a wild card finished 2nd) play the 5th and 6th place teams, and you can let team 3 pick it’s poison if you wish. But that means only 6 of 16 teams make the playoffs, which is close enough to my personal 1/3 cutoff for making the regular season matter.

The benefits of a 3 game series in the first round and the better team getting all three home games are enough to keep me from throwing up at the mere thought of the idea.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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Its just ridiculous that MLB is so embarrassed by its product that they feel they have to invent drama like this. "Ooooh, let's copy the NCAA selection show! That'll get the kids interested!"

Baseball would love for every playoff series to be the 1951 game between the Dodgers and the Giants. Of course, if they had let half of all the teams into the playoffs in 1951, there would have been no Shot Heard 'Round the World... And what makes great events great is that they don't happen every year.
 

glennhoffmania

but still failing
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The unbalanced scheduled already makes the WC really dumb. To add two more wild cards with a head-to-head tie breaker is beyond stupid. In a sport where the most important person in the lineup changes every day head-to-head tie breakers are incredibly idiotic. It'll never happen but I'd pay decent amount to go back to one WC that plays the #1 seed in the divisional round.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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Jul 15, 2005
7,296
Gallows Hill
Batters stepping out is the bigger problem, isn't it? Stop automatically granting time when they request it for no reason, and the game speeds up dramatically.
I’m all for that as well. Stay in the box, no time outs unless there’s an injury.
 

snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
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Others have said it, but the reason a 162 game season used to make sense was to have a big enough sample size of games to sort of reasonably identify the best team in the league. This sort of turns everything in the post-season into even more of a crapshoot, and the postseason games will look less and less like regular season games as well. You don’t need 162 games to lead into this.

I am on board with j-man’s 136 game season. Start the regular season April 5th, end the Sunday after Labor Day.
 

Awesome Fossum

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Jul 20, 2005
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I do like the idea of rewarding the top seed more handsomely.

This is a total pipe dream, but I really like the idea of a balanced schedule where everyone plays everyone home and away and then you lop off the bottom half (or whatever) of the league. Repeat until you have a champion. So for example (this requires balanced leagues, so I'm expanding to 32 total teams):

- Phase 1 (AL/NL): everyone plays a 3-game home and away series with everyone in the same league. (so, 15*6 = 90 games). The Top 6 in each league advance.
- Phase 2 (Interleague): Everyone plays a 3-game home and away series with everyone (12*6 = 72 games). The Top 4 advance.
- Phase 3 ("Playoffs"): Everyone plays a 5-game series with everyone (3*5 = 15 games). The Top 2 advance to the World Series.
- Phase 4 (Series): The teams play a 7-game World Series.

That gives you a 162 game season across Phases 1 and 2 and a similar-ish length replacement for the WC, DS, and CS. It restores the AL/NL divide a bit (although you would likely have to unify the rules). More importantly, I think it gives the entire season a sense of urgency, and you're automatically creating meaningful matchups.

The biggest downside is the what happens to the 20 teams that don't make phase 2. They could play an NIT season to get everyone to 162 games for stat purposes. I don't think that would be all that different than what happens already, but I'm sure it would feel a lot different.

Fun to think about, if nothing else.
 
Last edited:

keninten

lurker
Nov 24, 2005
588
Tennessee
I do like the idea of rewarding the top seed more handsomely.

This is a total pipe dream, but I really like the idea of a balanced schedule where everyone plays everyone home and away and then you lop off the bottom half (or whatever) of the league. Repeat until you have a champion. So for example (this requires balanced leagues, so I'm expanding to 32 total teams):

- Phase 1: everyone plays a 3-game home and away series with everyone in the same league. (so, 15*6 = 90 games). The Top 6 in each league advance to Phase 2.
- Phase 2: Everyone plays a 3-game home and away series with everyone (12*6 = 72 games). The Top 4 advance to the "Playoffs"
- Phase 3: Everyone plays a 5-game series with everyone (3*5 = 15 games). The Top 2 advance to the World Series
- Phase 4: The top 2 teams play a 7-game World Series.

That gives you a 162 game season across Phases 1 and 2 and a similar-ish length replacement for the WC, DS, and CS. It restores the AL/NL divide a bit (although you would likely have to unify the rules). More importantly, I think it gives the entire season a sense of urgency, and you're automatically creating meaningful matchups.

The biggest downside is the what happens to the 20 teams that don't make phase 2. They could play an NIT season to get everyone to 162 games for stat purposes. I don't think that would be all that different than what happens already, but I'm sure it would feel a lot different.

Fun to think about, if nothing else.
How about these remaining teams play for the draft picks? 1st place gets 1st pick and so on.
 

j-man

Member
Dec 19, 2012
1,783
Arkansas
Back in early 2018 I did some research.

2017 - Regular Season Games - 2,430
Extra Inning Games - 182 (7.5%)
Games Lasting 10 Innings - 87 (3.68%)
Games Lasting 11 Innings - 51 (2.1%)
Games Lasting 12 Innings - 20 (0.8%)
Games Lasting 13 innings - 12 (0.5%)
Games Lasting 14+ Innings - 12 (0.5%)

7.5% of a team's 162-game schedule is 12 games. That's two games per month, one game going into extra innings every two weeks.

Almost half of those extra inning games - 48% - were done in 10 innings.

Only 44 out of 2,430 games lasted more than 11 innings: 1.8%.

2 out of every 100 games (an average of three games per team per season) lasting more than two extra-innings is NOT a problem.

Plus: If both teams begin every extra inning with a man on second, they have an equal chance to score. Just like they do now, starting off with the bases empty. In other words, there is no actual advantage being gained here to have games end quicker. There will simply be more games in which each team scores 1 or 2 or however many runs in an extra inning and the game - still tied - goes on.

****

Also, there already exists a rule (5.07(c)) stating the pitcher must deliver the ball within 12 seconds with the bases empty. Maybe MLB could tell the umpires to start enforcing it.
good points by u my main thing is I don't like when teams run out of pitchers

the only thing I wouild harp on is the 136 or 144 game season 162 is too many adding 18 or 26 more off travel days wouild cut the grind down and allow more teams at 100%
 

j-man

Member
Dec 19, 2012
1,783
Arkansas
Others have said it, but the reason a 162 game season used to make sense was to have a big enough sample size of games to sort of reasonably identify the best team in the league. This sort of turns everything in the post-season into even more of a crapshoot, and the postseason games will look less and less like regular season games as well. You don’t need 162 games to lead into this.

I am on board with j-man’s 136 game season. Start the regular season April 5th, end the Sunday after Labor Day.
thanks and with computers u can project 162 games into the 136 game April 5th is a great idea for opening day I wouild want to end the season between sept 8-15 or sept 8-10
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
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Oct 19, 2008
12,408
They need to work on pace of play before scheduling a playoff double header. That could easily end up being 8 or 9 hours total. Who could sit through that on the couch, never mind in person? (Aside from all of us who watched all 18 innings of 2018 World Series game 3.)
There’s no way that would be single admission. First game would start at 2 and second game at 8.