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Expanded 2020 playoffs

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MLB, players agree to expanded 2020 playoffs with 16 teams

CHICAGO — The Major League Baseball postseason will be expanded from 10 teams to 16 teams in 2020 once the owners officially ratify the deal before Thursday night’s season-opener, according to three high-ranking officials with knowledge of the agreement.

The officials spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

MLB and the union agreed on the deal Thursday afternoon, guaranteeing a $50 million player pool.

The new playoff format will feature a best-of-three series in the first round instead of a sudden-death wild-card game. The top two teams in each division will qualify for the postseason – with the two other best teams in each league filling out the 16-team pool.

The winners of the first round will advance to the best-of-five division series and traditional best of seven League Championship Series and World Series.

"You know what, 2020 baseball, whatever they decide I assume will be best for the game," New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday before the season-opener against the Washington Nationals. "Whatever the rules are, whatever the scenario is, hopefully we’ll be a part of it."

MLB is set receive $777 million from its national TV partners in this shortened season, but even with the extra playoff games – which now could be a maximum of 65 games instead of 43 – the additional revenue created would simply be given back to the networks because of their lost games during the season.

The deal also satisfies the players given that there may be no fans permitted to attend postseason games. If there had been no agreement reached, players wouldn’t have received any additional money after the regular season.

If there are fans, players will now receive 60% of the revenue from the first two games of the best-of-three series, the first three games of the best-of-five series, and the first four games of the LCS and World Series.

If fans are not permitted or attendance is restricted – and the players’ pool is less than $50 million – the commissioner’s office must make up the difference.

So, just like that, the most bizarre season in MLB history is about to get even stranger.

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This greatly increases the Angels playoff chances. For reference, if there was a 16-team playoff for 2019, only 7 of the 8 teams in the AL would have had a winning percent over .500. The 8th playoff team would have been the Rangers at 78-84 (.481). 


Most projections have Angels in the ballpark of 30-30 this year, so our first playoff appearance since 2014 is now very likely

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53 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

One bit of sadness:  the last bastion of truly earned post-season play has disappeared.

Outside of the NFL (12 teams), the major sports all now have 16 post-season teams.

Are the expanded playoffs permanent or just for this year?

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