Perfect 5-year model

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

With the MLB season fast approaching the midpoint, it’s time to discuss the game’s new playoff format involving 12 teams, up from two.

MLB is taking a page of the NFL’s playoff system from 1990-2019, where six teams from each conference made the postseason, with the top two division winners earning a bye into the divisional round.

Once the CBA was ratified, MLB went in the same path, but this time with three division winners (seeded No. 1 to No. 3 based on winning percentage) and three wild-card clubs (seeded No. 4 to No. 6) in each league.

Entering Monday’s action, let’s take a look at the playoff structure of each league.


■ 1. Yankees (44-16, .733);

■ 2. Astros (37-23, .617);

■ 3. Twins (35-27, .565);

■ 4. Blue Jays (35-24, .593);

■ 5. Rays (35-25, .583);

■ 6. Red Sox (32-29, .525).

In the best-of-three, wild-card series (single-game elimination is gone) that would be played at one venue, the Red Sox would play at the Twins and the survivor would go on to meet the second-seeded Astros in a best-of-five divisional round.

The Blue Jays-Rays wild-card winner would face the top-seeded Yankees in another best-of-five divisional round. The two divisional round winners would face off in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.


■ 1. Mets (40-22, .645);

■ 2. Dodgers (37-23, .617);

■ 3. Cardinals (34-27, .557);

■ 4. Padres (37-24, .607);

■ 5. Giants (33-26, .559);

■ 6. Braves (34-27, .557).

The Braves would meet the Cardinals in one wild-card round, while the other matchup would feature the All-West Division clash between the Padres and Giants. The Mets would meet the winner between the Padres and Giants, while the Dodgers would await the Cardinals-Braves survivor. Keep in mind that teams will jockey slots through Oct. 5, the end of the regular season.

I like the expanded format, with a minimum of six extra playoff games in each league, increasing revenue to the game, but teams may have to endure extensive travel in series.

■ Trivia question: Matt Carpenter became third New York Yankee whose first three hits with the team were home runs. Who were the other two?

■ From Seattle Times columnist Dwight Perry — Tim Hunter of Everett’s KRKO Radio, with a sign that gas has gotten way too expensive: “A gas station is offering a free car with every fill-up.”

■ Trivia answer: Alfonso Soriano (1999-2000) and Kyle Higashioka (2018).

■ Note: Top Secret Fyles will return Tuesday, June 28.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at

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