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Expanded Playoffs Newsbeat

Monday, June 27, 2022

Rosenthal: MLB’s expanded playoffs not yet boosting competition and the risk of trading with the Guardians [$]

One of Major League Baseball’s great promises in pushing for an expanded postseason was increased competition. A team on the fringes of contention might push for one of the additional wild-card spots, producing better pennant races.

Nearly halfway through the season, the competition is not looking so hot. Through Wednesday, 17 teams — 10 in the American League, seven in the National — were 10 or more games out of first place. Though the season started a week later, that total was the largest on that date in the wild-card era, which began in 1995. And the Yankees’ ridiculous 120-win pace, which had three teams with winning records 12 or more games out of first place in the AL East, was only partly responsible….

Six clubs — in order of ineptitude, the Athletics, Reds, Nationals, Royals, Cubs and Tigers — currently are on pace to lose 100 or more games. That number would be the highest since the league expanded to 30 clubs in 1998; the previous high was four, in 2002 and the two most recent full seasons, 2019 and 2021.

It’s not terribly likely that some of those teams will improve, not when all are virtually certain to part with some of their better players at the trade deadline. And if, say, the Cubs get hot — stop laughing — it might come partly at the expense of a division rival such as the Pirates, who are on a 94-loss pace.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2022 at 12:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: expanded playoffs

Friday, March 04, 2022

Projecting a 12-Team Playoff Structure

The changes in World Series probability didn’t follow the exact pattern I originally expected. Division winners take a hit, but a team like the Dodgers, with a high projected chance of sitting out the Wild Card round, sees the least damage. Top teams also see some of their loss mitigated by their opponents in the LDS and LCS being weaker; the last Wild Card will advance sometimes and take out the usually superior third division winner. Speaking of, the format was especially hard on the third division winner, as that team is now being thrust into a best-of-three series when they previously got to watch the Wild Cards duke it out. Naturally, the winners of the Central divisions suffer the most here.

I expected the most advantaged teams to be those in very tight divisions, but I was surprised by the magnitude of the advantage. The AL East has four very solid teams, and the Yankees, by virtue of limiting their downside, was the only division winner to see their World Series probability improve in the new system.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2022 at 10:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: expanded playoffs



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