The 2020 MLB Playoffs have been terrible. Period. We’ll be covering this topic in this week’s “Cheap Seats Chatter” podcast (to air on Sunday morning), but in the interim, here are my thoughts on the subject.
What’s Made the 2020 MLB Playoffs Terrible So Far?
I don’t know about you, but I like competition, something that there seems to be very little of in the 2020 MLB playoffs. A blowout during the regular season is to be expected, but when it happens so frequently in the realm of the playoffs, something just doesn’t seem right.
With the expanded format for the MLB playoffs this year, 16 teams made the postseason, with a schedule allowing for up to 65 games (if everyone played the maximum number per series). To date, there have only been 33 games played out of a possible 44, so right at 75% of the potential schedule.
Sweeps Have Made For Terrible 2020 MLB Playoffs
There’s nothing wrong with a sweep in the postseason, especially if your team is the one with all the brooms, but 2020’s MLB playoffs have been terrible with all of the sweeps.
During the Wild Card rounds, six out of eight Wild Card Series (75%) ended in sweeps.
- ALWCS: (Best of three series): Tampa swept Toronto), outscoring the Jays 11-3.
- ALWCS: Yankees swept Clevland, outscoring the Indians 22-12
- ALWCS: Astros swept the Twins, outscoring Minnesota 7-2.
- NLWCS: Miami swept the Cubs, outscoring Chicago 7-1.
- NLWCS: Braves swept the Reds, outscoring Cincinnati 6-0.
- NLWCS: Dodgers swept the Brewers, outscoring Milwaukee 7-2.
The four Divisional series (best of five) did provide a little more action on the American League side, but both NLDS series wound up in sweeps as well.
- Dodgers swept the Padres. Los Angeles outscored San Diego 23-9.
- Atlanta swept the Marlins, outscoring the Fish 18-5.
Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics managed to grab one game from the Astros before going down in flames. In another lopsided series (total of four games), the Astros managed to outscore Oakland by a final tally of 33-22.
By far and away, the best series to date in the 2020 MLB playoffs has been the only series to go the distance: Tampa vs. the New York Yankees (ALDS round). In true competitive fashion, not only did the teams go the distance, but alternated winning and losing to make the series even that much more exciting.
Under the leadership of Gerrit Cole, the Yanks took Game-1 by a final of 9-3, but the Rays rebounded quickly. In Game-2, Tampa drew even behind Tyler Glasnow, winning that game by a final of 7-5. In Game-3, Charlie Morton led the Rays to an 8-4 victory, while Game-4 saw Chad Green get the win (5-1) for NY, tying the series at two games each.
In the “go or go home” Game-5, Aaron Boone went back to his ace, Gerrit Cole, who took on Tampa righty, Tyler Glasnow, though neither would earn a decision. RHP Diego Castillo would earn the win for Tampa (final score of 2-1), while closer Aroldis Chapman bought the loss for the Bronx Bombers.
When all was said and done, it would be Tampa advancing to face the Astros in the ALCS, despite being outscored by the Yankees 24-21.
Hopefully the Next Round of the 2020 MLB Playoffs Won’t be Terrible
Looking ahead to the ALCS and NLCS (best of seven series), hopefully the competition will be a lot better. Both Los Angeles and Atlanta are undefeated to this point in the 2020 playoffs, but obviously somebody will be losing games in this series. Los Angeles looks to be insurmountable, while Atlanta has been more of what I’d describe as quietly solid.
Looking to the ALCS, Houston is now 5-1 (.833) during the 2020 MLB playoffs, while Tampa has posted a record of 5-2 (.714). Tampa and Houston will kick of the American League Championship Series on Sunday (October 11, 2020) in San Diego, while Atlanta and Los Angeles start the NLCS in Arlington, Texas on Monday, October 12th.
I still say that MLB should scrap the bubble if Houston and Los Angeles make it to the World Series, as both ballparks (Dodger Stadium and Minute Maid Park) have been used as part of the 2020 MLB postseason bubble. Let the teams fight it out where each has the benefit of having an actual home-field advantage. Rob Manfred will never do it though.
In the interim, I’ll be content if the remainer of the 2020 MLB playoffs aren’t as terrible as 28 of the first 33 games have been.
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