Six hours before Johnny Cueto's first pitch of the season, the Giants saw their playoff odds dramatically increase.
MLB and the MLBPA reportedly reached an agreement Thursday afternoon to expand the playoffs to 16 teams. The agreement is just pending the approval of the owners.
MLB and the players union have made a deal to expand playoffs for 2020. Still needs ratification so not quite a certainty. Assuming it gets done, playoffs go from 10 teams to 16. @MarlyRiveraESPN 1st— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 23, 2020
Yes, that's right: A few hours before the start of a 60-game season, MLB decided to add six teams to the playoffs and completely shake up October. It's bizarre, but also a very Rob Manfred thing to do, but all that matters for the Giants is that it helps them quite a bit.
Before the decision was made, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he was in favor of the potential change.
"I think in a year like this, that's already out of the norm in many ways, I like the idea of kind of having fun with a playoff format," Zaidi said Thursday morning. "Having a selection show and some things that we might not have in a traditional season. It also creates the opportunity to try new things and have everybody go, 'That was awesome, that may be something that we keep.'"
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Even the biggest homer could admit the Giants had almost no shot at making the original postseason, with a tough division -- the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Padres all look like contenders -- a really tough schedule in August, and a roster that is without Buster Posey. The Giants also open their season Thursday without Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria.
The road ahead was rough. But now? A postseason spot is slightly more realistic. If the Giants get there, they'll see a whole new format.
As part of the 16-team expanded playoff proposal, the No. 1, 2, 3 seeds in each league— the Division winners— would pick their opponents among the other 5 teams, with a selection show.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 23, 2020
Sources say that in a 16-team postseason, all first-round games in a best-of-3 first round would be played at the home of the higher seed.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 23, 2020
So there would be no travel day.
It's all weird. It's also an Even Year, and Taylor Swift announced she's putting out another album, which tends to work well for the Giants. Buckle up!