Fix the playoffs

The bye week in the playoffs is not working. Instead of benefiting the better team, it is hurting them. Only the Houston Astros have won and moved on after the bye week in the last two years. This needs to be changed.

There is a simple way to fix the playoffs that should make everyone happy. Change the number of teams that get into the playoffs from each league from six to eight. The teams that win the three divisions get seeded 1, 2, 3. The remaining five teams are seeded by record. The season needs to end on Saturday with Sunday as an off day for teams to travel. Then round one of the playoffs should start on Monday. The top-seeded team should be the home team against the lowest-seeded team in a three-game series. Only the top four seeds would get home games in this round. Seed 1 hosts Seed 8; Seed 2 hosts Seed 7; Seed 3 hosts Seed 6, and Seed 4 hosts Seed 5. The winners of this round move on to round Two which is another three-game series. This round narrows the field to four teams.

Round two starts on Thursday. The teams that play the late games in round one get the late games in round two. If a team seeps, they get a travel day on Wednesday, otherwise, they would have to travel after the end of the last game in this series. Again, this gives an advantage to the higher-seeded teams left and gives an incentive for higher-seeded teams to win in this round. The highest-seeded team left hosts the lowest seed left like in round two for a three-game series just like in round one. Round two ends on Saturday with Sunday as a travel day and narrows the field to two teams for the league championships.

The league championship round starts on Monday and is reduced to a five-game series. The first two games are played on Monday and Tuesday at the lower-seeded teams’ stadium. Wednesday is an off day for travel. The final three games are played at the higher-seeded teams’ stadium. These games are played on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sunday is a travel day. The only way to get extra days off in this playoff system is to sweep a series. This gives the higher-seeded teams an advantage, especially if a lower-seed has to travel after the third game in round one.

The World Series is the only seven-game series like it was in the past.

The World Series starts with two games at the highest-seeded team’s home field on Monday. Wednesday is a travel day. The middle three games are played at the lower-seeded teams’ home field on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The last two games are played at the higher-seeded teams’ home field on Monday and Tuesday after a travel day on Sunday.

Round one games need to be played at the following times. Game One, Seed 8 at Seed 1, at 11:00 am Eastern; Game Two, seed 7 at Seed 2, at 2:00 pm Eastern, Game Three, Seed 6 at Seed 3, at 5:00 pm Eastern and Game 5 at 8:00 pm Eastern. If an overlap in TV coverage occurs, all of these games need to be able to send highlight feeds of key events early in the later games to the earlier games. Staring times could be juggled to work around the weather, if necessary, by swapping times with another team in this round. In Round Two, the games should start at 4:00 and 8:00 pm with the highest seed left getting the 8:00 pm. home games and the second highest seeded team left getting the 8:00 pm home games. The winner of this series gets a one-day travel day unless they seep, then they get two days off. If a weather issue comes up the start time of these games could be juggled or a doubleheader with an hour to and an hour and ½ half break in between could be played if necessary. In round three, weekday games should be played at 8:00 pm. Eastern and Saturday games should be played from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Eastern unless a time change is needed to be juggled around the weather. In a worst-case scenario, a doubleheader could be played like in the other rounds.

The World Series starts on Monday with the first two games at the team with the best record of the final two being the home. Wednesday is the off day for travel. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are games two, three and four. Sunday day is an off day. Games six and Seven, if necessary are at the team with the best record's home stadium. Game Six could start at 5:00 pm Eastern to avoid conflict with the NFL's Monday night game. Game seven, on Tuesday, if necessary should start at 7:30 pm. Eastern so it is finished by 10:00 pm.