UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: The expansion plan will have the first and second place team in each division make the playoffs, and then the two teams with the best records after those six, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Major League Baseball owners and players have agreed to terms on an expanded playoff field for the 2020 season. The deal was finalized on Thursday, a few hours before the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals open the 60-game season. This would apply only to the 2020 season.
The plan calls for 16 playoff teams, with the top three teams in each league getting a first round bye. The first round matchups would each feature a three-game series, with all the games at the better team’s home stadium, per reporter Jared Diamond. They would be followed by best-of-five Divisional Round series, and then best-of-seven for the League Championship Series and World Series.
A year ago, the playoffs featured the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and Houston Astros as American League division winners, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics as wild card teams. The National League featured the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers as division winners, and the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers as wild card teams. In this expanded playoff, the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox would have claimed American League wild card berths, while the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks would have claimed National League wild card berths.