Braves: Brian Snitker not a fan of new MLB playoff format

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A couple of years ago, Major League Baseball introduced a new playoff format, expanding the field to 12 teams — six on each side — with the top two seeds from each league receiving a bye.

On the surface, it seemed like a format that would benefit the best teams in each league. Not only do they avoid potentially being eliminated in the Wild Card round, but they also get a chance to rest their pitching staff and line up their starters the best way they see fit.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, outside of the Houston Astros, who seem to have this whole postseason thing figured out. In the National League, the Braves and Dodgers have earned first-round byes in each of the last two seasons, and they’ve combined to win just three games compared to 12 losses.

Some of that could be attributed to the matchups. Some of it could also be chalked up to the randomness of the game, but Braves manager Brian Snitker thinks there is something more to it, stating he doesn’t believe the time off helps the offensive players.

“It’s hard to hit velocity when you haven’t seen anything in five days,” Snitker said on Foul Territory. “That’s my biggest thing. We had a team that set all these records and everything offensively, and we didn’t hit much in the postseason. I don’t know that it’s approach, I think it’s just a matter of, I don’t like the system quite honestly. We’re going to have to deal with it. We better figure it out because we’re going to try like hell to win the division and have five days off again.”

Snitker even went as far as to say he would prefer to play a three-game series in the Wild Card round rather than sit and have a first-round bye.

“I’d like to play,” Snitker said.

There are likely other avenues MLB can take to make the playoff format more favorable for the top teams. But as of now, nothing is set to change and there’s a chance nothing will change substantially in the future. Complaining isn’t going to make a difference, and as Snitker said, the Braves are going to do their best to win the division again in 2024. They’ve got a loaded team that is set to be one of baseball’s best for the next decade. If the system stays the same, they are going to be in a similar position nearly every year, so they have to figure out a way to overcome the lengthy layoff and produce at the plate, or there is going to be a lot more postseason disappointment in the future.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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