Should MLB adjust their playoff format?

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Over the last few days, there has been a lot of buzz regarding MLB’s new playoff format, and it mostly stems from the best teams — Dodgers and Braves — losing in the first round. Los Angeles’ writers, in particular, have been bashing the new format (Los Angeles writers complaining *pretends to be shocked*), so I thought I would give my two cents on the topic.

First and foremost, if you’re a Braves or Dodgers fan blaming the format for your team exiting the playoffs early, you need to be served a dose of reality. I don’t love the long layoff and believe there’s an advantage in coming into the NLDS with a few playoff games under your belt. But would I rather play in a three-game elimination series and not be able to line up my pitching for the next round? Absolutely not. Both the Braves and Dodgers were given a significant advantage in the NLDS; they just didn’t show up and lost. That’s baseball. Anybody can win on any given day. The Braves and Dodgers were beaten fair and square.

With that being said, I wouldn’t mind a few tweaks to the format. I’ve always thought the NLDS should be seven games. A five games series isn’t enough to determine a 162-game season. Still, I don’t think that would have made a difference in either NLDS series. The Padres and Phillies were the better teams, and they were going to advance no matter how long the series went, but that’s not always the case. I hope in the future they do decide to make the Divisional Round seven games.

The other tweak I wouldn’t mind seeing is re-seeding after the Wild Card round. The top seed should always play the lowest remaining seed, just like they do in the NFL. It just makes the most sense. I also wouldn’t mind giving the top seed the option to choose their opponent. That would be an interesting wrinkle, and I think the disrespect factor could add a little more tension to the series.

Overall, I thought this year’s playoff format was just fine. I’ve always wanted the NLDS to be seven games, so that isn’t anything new. Re-seeding should also probably be considered, but none of that has to do with why the Dodgers and Braves were eliminated early. They didn’t show up when it mattered most, and that’s why they will enjoy the NLCS from the couch.

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