MLB officially announces expanded playoff field

Apr 5, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; The main scoreboard displays the Opening Day logo before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Tampa Bay Rays at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Major League Baseball season is finally here with the defending champion Washington Nationals hosting the New York Yankees in the first part of a doubleheader Thursday night.

Hours before the truncated 60-game schedule kicked off, it was noted that the MLBPA had agreed to an expanded playoff format. That has now been finalized.

MLB Playoff field to expand to 16 teams

As noted in the press release, things are going to look dramatically different for the postseason starting this fall. There’s a lot to focus on.

MLB Playoff format

  • Two teams in each division will earn a spot in the playoffs.
  • The two teams in each league with the best remaining record will play postseason baseball.
  • A total of eight best-of-three series will make up the wild card round.
  • At least for this season, there will be no one-game playoff.
  • Each division winner will be able to choose its first-round opponent. Team with the best record gets first option and so on.
  • The remainder of the playoffs will be normal format.
  • Expanded playoff format is for 2020 season only.

It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see how this all turns out. What we do know is that the 2020 MLB regular season will be much more intense with an expanded playoff field and a shortened slate of action.