World Series chase begins with new playoff format

Henry Diamond, Contributing Writer

World Series
Matthew Tate

It’s the moment baseball fans have been waiting for — October is finally here, and the World Series is back with some brand new changes. 

The players’ lockout before the season created new rules and exciting changes. Major League Baseball added a competitive balance tax to give teams more of an equal chance financially. The MLB Playoffs also expanded from a ten team to a 12-team playoff tournament, along with changing the Wild Card to a best-of-three series. These changes aimed to create a more exciting playoff experience and generate more revenue for the sport. 

This new energy around the league revitalized a fiercer race for a spot in the show, and it seemed to create an even more competitive environment where any team could make a run this year. 

Even with these changes, the big-market franchises couldn’t be stopped. In the American league, it’s the Yankees and Astros who have secured the playoffs by putting them firmly in the League Divisional Series. However, the Wild Card matchups feature some new teams desperate for some playoff glory.

For the first time in 21 years, the Seattle Mariners have made the playoffs as a fifth seed behind star outfielder Julio Rodriguez. They will have to play the fourth seeded Blue Jays to see who will face the first seeded Astros. 

As for the Yankees, they will play the winner of the sixth seeded Rays and the third seeded Guardians. However, the spotlight is on Aaron Judge who is coming off a historic season hitting 62 home runs which puts him on the level of some of the greatest to ever play. Be sure to watch out for him this postseason. 

In the National League there’s more of the same. The Dodgers and Braves have secured the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The Dodgers have finished the regular season with the best record and best odds for winning the World Series, while the Braves are looking to repeat their success from last year’s World Series victory.

For the two Wild Card Series, it will be the No. 5 seeded Padres vs the No. 4 Mets and No. 6 Phillies vs No. 3 Cardinals. 

A notable team to watch out for are The New York Mets. Led by star pitchers Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, the team also has an abundance of great hitters like Daniel Vogelbach and Pete Alonso. A 98-plus win team with the highest payroll in the MLB that just recently became a Wild Card team after leading the division for the entire year. It is very possible the Mets are coming in with a chip on their shoulder looking to prove something to the league.

With the new league rules and changing the playoff format it seems this year’s World Series is filled with storylines where anything could happen. 

Leave a comment