Playoff Fields After 60 Games Differ Only Slightly From 162 Games
How different will a playoff field look after a 60-game season compared to a 162-game season? History tells us it will be different, but not overwhelmingly so.
Since the second wild card was added in 2012, 59 of 80 teams (73.8 percent) who reached the postseason were either in playoff position or tied for a playoff spot through 60 games.
That includes eight of the nine World Series champions since 2012. The exception is the 2019 Nationals.
On average, between 7-8 teams that are in playoff position through 60 games make it to the postseason each year. Only 2-3 spots per year, on average, change between game 60 and game 162.
Here are which teams would have made the playoffs through 60 games each season since the second wild card was added in 2012. Asterisks denote teams that eventually missed the postseason.
2019: Yankees, Twins, Astros, Rays, Rangers*, Phillies*, Braves, Cubs*, Dodgers, Brewers
2018: Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Mariners*, Astros, Braves, Nationals*, Brewers, Cubs, D-backs*
2017: Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, Astros, Indians/Orioles, Nationals, Brewers*, Rockies, D-backs, Dodgers
2016: Orioles, Indians, Rangers, Red Sox, Mariners*, Nationals, Cubs, Giants, Mets, Dodgers/Pirates/Cardinals
2015: Yankees, Royals, Astros, Twins*, Rays*, Mets/Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants*, Cubs/Pirates
2014: Blue Jays*, Tigers, Athletics, Angels, Orioles/Yankees/Mariners, Braves*, Brewers*, Giants, Marlins*, Nationals/Dodgers/Cardinals
2013: Red Sox, Tigers, Rangers*, Yankees*, Athletics, Braves, Cardinals, D-backs*, Reds, Pirates
2012: Rays*, White Sox*, Rangers, Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, Reds, Dodgers*, Braves, Giants
Spring Training MLB Prospect Report—March 4, 2021
Wander Franco, Jarred Kelenic and Bobby Dalbec all had a big day.
The Orioles and Indians were both 31-29 after 60 games in 2017. The Indians went on to make the playoffs.
The Dodgers, Pirates and Cardinals were all 32-28 through 60 games in 2016. The Dodgers went on to make the playoffs.
The Mets and Nationals were tied atop the NL East at 31-29 and the Cubs and Pirates were both 33-27 through 60 games in 2015. All but the Nationals went on to make the playoffs.
The Yankees, Mariners and Orioles were all 31-29 through 60 games in 2014. The Orioles went on to make the playoffs. The Nationals, Cardinals and Dodgers were all 31-29 through 60 games as well. All three eventually made the playoffs.