The Seattle Mariners and MLB expansion
A New NEW Look Postseason
Even though baseball has tweaked its playoff format a few times over the past few decades, the expansion of 32 teams puts postseason expansion back on the table. It will face some controversy at first, but a 16-team field is exactly what baseball needs.
The seeding is not complicated, as I would have the 4 division winners get the top 4 seeds to host. The following four teams would be based on the best record. These series would be a best of 3, looking almost identical to the 2020 Covid playoffs. In this format, we would have seen the 111-win Dodgers take on the 81 win and 8th-seeded San Francisco Giants. Instead of missing the postseason, the Giants have a chance at revenge, a year after the Dodgers ruined the Giants magical 107-win season.
In the AL, the Mariners would still have ended up playing in Tampa Bay, but due to winning the AL West, they would have hosted the Wild Card Series. I don't know about you, but who wouldn't have wanted to watch Luis Castillo shut down Toronto at T-Mobile Park? We also would have seen the Baltimore Orioles, one of the best stories in baseball, get to go into Yankee Stadium to try and pull off a massive upset.
Yes, this puts the favorites in a dangerous position, but isn't that what makes the expanded postseason so fun and dramatic? Right away, the tensions are high and the pressure is on. And for those worrying about the integrity of the playoffs, in 2020, four of the six division winners survived the Wild Card Series and the top two teams in baseball met in the Fall Classic…it worked. To reward the best teams for surviving, I would recommend a re-seeding of the teams that move on to the Division Series in order to help the top seeds have the best chance at advancing.