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MLB: Who the Dodgers Would be Up Against in a Normal Playoff Format

If this were a normal year, the Dodgers would not be facing the Brewers this week.



MLB expanded the number of postseason teams from 10 to 16 this year, drawing plenty of criticism in the process. Fans and baseball experts around the country seem to generally hate the new playoff format. If the league had not changed things in 2020, the Dodgers would be in an entirely different position.

For starters, obviously the Dodgers wouldn’t be playing in the wildcard round had MLB stuck to their original format. Instead, the Padres would’ve been facing either the Marlins, Cardinals, or Reds. All three teams finished with a .517 win percentage, though the Cardinals did not get to finish all 60 games due to a COVID outbreak.

Whoever won that wildcard series would have been who the Dodgers faced in the Division Series. The Braves and the Cubs would have been the other two teams playing in the National League Division Series. Over in the AL, the Houston Astros would not have even made the playoffs with their losing record. The Yankees and Blue Jays also would have missed out on a chance to play into October. Needless to say, the MLB playoff picture would look much different than what we are seeing today. 

Who knows at this point if this version of the playoffs is here to stay. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently talked about the expansion, and that he preferred to have fewer teams than the 16 that made it in this year. But when he says fewer, he means more like 14 teams, not the 10 that we’re used to. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Under normal rules neither the Asterisks nor the Crankees would have been in the postseason and I can’t say I would have missed them, but here they are jumping out to leads. Ugh.

  2. This expanded playoff format is the stupidest thing ever. In what universe should a team playing less than .500 baseball be in the playoffs? Then there is the 3 game series. even the worst team could get lucky and win two games. Does that mean they deserve to go on even though they played badly during the season? I personally think this stinks. I am not a fan of the current commissioner. This playoff format is only one of the reasons.

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