One of the most important points discussed and included in the new joint contract signed by MLB and the MLBPA was the inclusion of a new playoff format that expanded from 10 teams to 12 in total that will go on to play in Octoberwhich means a reform of the postseason for the first time since 2012where the Wild Card round was added to the single game.
Now, as stipulated in the new CBA, the playoff format starting in 2022 would be as follows:
- The two division champions with the best record will advance directly to the Divisional Round of their respective league
- The division champion with the worst record will be part of the Wild Card Round
- The Wild Card Round will be complemented by the three teams with the best record that were not champions of their division.
- Said round will be the best of three games, with the Divisional Champion playing the team with the worst record, and so on.
- All Wild Card matches will be played at the home of the top seed
- The winners advance to the Division Series, which will be played as usual to the best of 5 games.
- The Championship Series and the World Series will continue to be played as the best of 7 games.
- The 18 teams that did not make the playoffs will be part of the new draft lottery.
Team owners and commissioner Rob Manfred pushed hard to impose a 14-game postseason, which the union flatly refused, saying in their eyes it would promote mediocrity and low spending.
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MLB: What will the format of the new playoffs be like with 12 teams? we explain it