What if the proposed expansion to a 14-team playoff field were in place for the past eight years (2012-2019)? We don’t know how it might have affected spending and team construction with more available postseason spots, but if you simply apply the format retroactively, here’s what you get:
• Twenty-seven of the 30 clubs would have qualified for the postseason in that eight-year period.
• Only two teams in those eight years would have qualified for the expanded postseason every year: the Dodgers and Cardinals–none in the American League.
• The 16 No. 1 seeds in those eight years would have been filled by 12 different franchises.
• The No. 7 seed (the last team to qualify in each league) posted an average of 84 wins. The high win total for a No. 7 seed was 89. The low was 79.
• Of the 112 playoff teams, only four would have qualified with a losing record (3.6%).
• The No. 1 seed would have averaged 100 wins, with a low of 95 and a high of 108.
• On Sept. 10–about three weeks left in the season–20 teams on average would be within five games of a playoff spot. Under the current system, that average is 15 teams.
• The maximum number of postseason games increases from 43 to 59. The maximum number of possible elimination games increases from 26 to 36.