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What Will It Take To Make An Expanded Postseason? A Winning Record



Major League Baseball is expanding the postseason to 16 teams for 2020, as first reported by ESPN’s Marly Rivera. The top two teams from each division will make the playoffs followed by the teams with the next two best records in each league.

In effect, the change means every team with a winning record this year will get into the playoffs.

Over the past three seasons, every team with a winning record through 60 games would have made a 16-team playoff field. There were 14 teams with winning records through 60 games in 2019, 15 teams in 2018 and 11 teams in 2017. All finished among the top eight teams in their respective leagues.

Based on recent history, multiple teams with a non-winning record through 60 games will likely also make the playoffs this year. In each of the three seasons, at least two teams with a .500 record or below finished among the top eight teams in their respective leagues.

Here is what a 16-team playoff field would have looked like after 60 games in each of the last three seasons.

2019

AMERICAN LEAGUE

T-1. Astros 40-20
T-1. Twins 40-20
3. Yankees 38-22
4. Rays 37-23
5. Rangers 32-28
6. Red Sox 31-29
T-7. Athletics 30-30
T-7. Indians 30-30

First team out: White Sox, 29-31

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Dodgers 41-19
T-2. Brewers 34-26
T-2. Cubs 34-26
T-4. Phillies 33-27
T-4. Braves 33-27
T-6. Rockies 31-29
T-6. Cardinals 31-29
T-6. Padres 31-29

First team out: D-backs, 30-30

2018

AMERICAN LEAGUE

T-1. Red Sox 41-19
T-1. Yankees 41-19
3. Mariners 38-22
4. Astros 37-23
T-5. Angels 32-28
T-5. Indians 32-28
7. Athletics 31-29
8. Tigers, 28-32

First team out: Rays, 28-32

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Brewers 37-23
2. Cubs 36-24
T-3. Braves 35-25
T-3. Nationals 35-25
5. Cardinals 33-27
T-6. Phillies 32-28
T-6. D-backs 32-28
8. Rockies 31-29

First team out: (tie) Dodgers/Pirates/Giants, 30-30.

2017

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Astros 42-18
2. Yankees 37-23
3. Red Sox 33-27
4. Twins 32-28
T-5. Orioles 31-29
T-5. Indians 31-29
7. Mariners 30-30
T-8. (four-way tie) Angels/Blue Jays/Rays/Tigers, 29-31

First team out (tie): Angels/Blue Jays/Rays/Tigers, 29-31

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Nationals 38-22
2. Rockies 37-23
T-3. D-backs 35-25
T-3. Dodgers 35-25
5. Brewers 32-28
6. Cubs 30-30
7. Reds 29-31
8. Cardinals, 28-32

First team out: (tie) Marlins/Mets, 27-33

Dodgers Photo By Cooper Neill MLB Photos Via Getty Images

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