MLB, MLBPA announce expanded 2020 playoffs

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The coronavirus-shortened 2020 MLB season will see an expanded playoff format, it was announced on Thursday.

MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) agreed on expanding the postseason from 10 teams to 16 franchises – eight from the American League and eight from the National League.

The competition has already been reduced to 60 regular-season games this year amid the COVID-19 crisis, which forced the start of the campaign to be pushed back since March.

"This season will be a sprint to a new format that will allow more fans to experience playoff baseball," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement prior to Opening Day getting underway, with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers both winning.

"We look forward to a memorable postseason concluding a year like no other."

"We hope it will result in highly competitive pennant races as well as exciting additional playoff games to the benefit of the industry and all involved heading into next year," MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in the statement.

The 2020 expanded postseason will feature three division winners, three second-placed teams and two wild-card clubs.

In each league, the division winners will be seeded from one to three, the second-placed teams four to six and the teams with the next best records seven to eight.

The playoffs will begin on September 29, with the best-of-three wild-card series running through to October 2.