As Major League Baseball threw out the first pitch Thursday night, MLB announced that the player’s association and league have agreed to a 16-team playoff for this season only. This expands it from the normal 10 teams.
The decision makes it possible, if not likely, that teams with losing records will reach the postseason. Sixteen of the 30 teams will advance to a best-of-three first round.
MLB agreed to guarantee a postseason pool that would be $50 million if the entire postseason is played. The pool usually comprises ticket money, but baseball anticipates playing the entire year in empty ballparks due to the coronavirus.
Details about how the playoff match-ups would be decided is still being discussed, according to media reports. There is a proposal being considered, according to ESPN, that some of the playoff teams could pick their opponents.
On Thursday, baseball fans will get to watch Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the San Francisco Giants.
The other 26 teams will start their seasons on Friday.
This season will only be 60 games, down dramatically from normal years.
Another change due to the pandemic includes a COVID-19 inactive roster in addition to the injured roster. There is no set amount of time a player must remain out if they test positive for COVID-19.
Find more information about the 2020 season here.