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 firstname.lastname@example.org