Baseball will expand playoffs to 16 teams

Members of the Cincinnati Reds wear masks as they watch the game from the dugout during an exhibition baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 21, 2020. The Reds won 9-7. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
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Members of the Cincinnati Reds wear masks as they watch the game from the dugout during an exhibition baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 21, 2020. The Reds won 9-7. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Credit: AP

Eight best-of-three Wild Card series will start Sept. 29

Major League Baseball announced Thursday it will expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 in 2020.

The top two teams in each division will advance to the postseason, and then the next two teams with the best records in each league will qualify.

“We are excited to announce the expansion of the 2020 postseason,” Commissioner Rob Mandred said in a press release. “This season will be a sprint to a new format that will allow more fans to experience playoff baseball. We look forward to a memorable Postseason concluding a year like no other and appreciate the continued partnership and enthusiasm of ESPN and TBS.”

ExploreReds hold out hope there will be fans at games

The first round will feature eight best-of-three Wild Card series. All games will be played on the home fields of the division winners and the best second-place record. The games will take place Sept. 29-Oct. 2.

The second round, the Division Series, will be five games as usual, and the league championship series and World Series will remain best-of-seven series. The dates of those rounds have not been announced.

“The opportunity to add playoff games in this already-abbreviated season makes sense for fans, the league and players,” said Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. “We hope it will result in highly-competitive pennant races as well as exciting additional playoff games to the benefit of the industry and all involved heading into next year.”

The 60-game season starts Thursday night with games between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cincinnati Reds open the season at 6:10 p.m. Friday against the Detroit Tigers.

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