Angels Top Storylines: Will the expanded MLB postseason help?
Major League Baseball threw the Los Angeles Angels a hail mary on Thursday. Now the only thing the team needs to do is catch the ball.
Yes, that was a football analogy on a baseball article.
On Thursday, the league and MLBPA came to an agreement on expanding the postseason for the 2020 season. Instead of there being five teams from each league, there will now be eight. Opening up three additional playoff spots in each league is a huge change and can be advantageous for the Angels.
But there’s a catch.
Instead of all those extra playoff spots being Wild Cards, awarded to the team’s with the best records outside of division winners, the league went with a different format. Each of the divisional winners will receive a playoff ticket, as will each of the runner-ups in each division. The final two spots will be decided by a Wild Card standing, just as it normally is.
That adds an additional level of intrigue for the Angels, as well as the rest of the bubble teams in the league. Now, instead of playing for first place or a top record, they have to aim for second place or higher.
According to FanGraphs and ZiPS projections, the Angels have a 25.3% chance of finishing second in the American League West and a 20.5% chance of winning the Wild Card. The service gives them an aggregate chance of making the postseason of 57.4%. That is currently the ninth-highest among AL teams.
It’s an outside chance, but the Angels could see the postseason in 2020. If not, at least they should be in the picture throughout the entire 60-game sprint.