Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in Chicago White Sox fans, and fans across the country.
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The 2020 season required more than a few adjustments just to make it happen. One of the biggest changes was the playoff bracket. For the first time ever, 16 teams — eight from each league — reached the postseason.
For now, it doesn’t appear the season will be shortened to the extent of 2020. However, with much about this season to be decided, there has been no announcement about the size of the 2021 playoff field. But if it were up to fans, the playoffs should shrink before they expand.
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, a majority of fans would rather not have the playoff field expand beyond the standard 10 teams.
While some fans are willing to make an exception for some of the oddities that may happen in 2021, even fewer want those changes to stay in place. Only about a third of fans want an expanded playoff format to be put in place permanently.
The playoff field expanded from just four teams to eight teams for the first time in 1995, with the first inclusion of a wild card team. Then a second wild card team was added in 2012, with the first wild card Games.
While 16 teams may not be realistic for a normal season, the idea of expanding the playoffs has been considered by baseball. But it’s clear from this survey that fans would rather have fewer teams in the postseason.
Almost one-third (31%) of MLB fans said they would most prefer an eight-team playoff bracket. That’s followed by 27% that want a return to the 10-team bracket. Just 30% want the playoffs to expand in any way.
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