March 2nd, 2012
02:38 PM ET

Baseball's playoff expansion to start this year

Major League Baseball will expand its playoffs this season from eight teams to 10 by adding an extra wild-card spot to each league, reported Friday.

The expansion was agreed to last year in a collective bargaining deal between Major League Baseball and its players' union, but the parties didn't announce until Friday that the change would start with the 2012 season.

In each league, the playoffs will now consist of the three division winners plus two wild cards, which would be top two teams that didn't win a division. A league's two wild cards will play one post-season game against each other, with the winners advancing to their league’s Division Series.

SI: New wildcard format will have its flaws

Although more teams will make the postseason, wild-card teams now face more of a burden. In recent years, each league's wild-card team went straight to a best-of-five Division Series. Now, wild-card clubs have to spend some of their pitchers on an extra game while the division winners rest, points out.

"It used to be if a team had the wild card locked up, they could start setting their rotation for the playoffs," Texas Rangers infielder and designated hitter Michael Young said, according to "Now you have to do everything you can to win the division. You're in - you don't have to play a win-or-go-home game."

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. American Public

    Leave the playoffs the way they are. a .500 team doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs and that's basically what most wildcard teams are, with the exception of a select few who play in the toughest divisions. The playoffs are for GOOD teams, not .500 teams.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    This sucks

    March 3, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
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