Major League Baseball recently announced that there will be realignment. The Astros are being sent to the American League, and there will be one more wild card. Well, no one asked me what should be done. Based on the Dan Plan, here is an idea that I believe is far superior to what is now planned, which means that it probably won't happen. Read about it after the jump.
The Dan Plan calls for two divisions per league, with two wild cards per division. And the wild card playoffs are one game. I prefer three, but that detail is not that important.
No teams need to be moved or added to make this plan work. The Dan Plan calls for shuffling some teams around, with Arizona to the AL and Tampa Bay to the NL. Instead, I'd simply move Milwaukee back to the AL, which is part of this plan. In the spirit of giving each team a more balanced opportunity, two more franchises are being added. Where is not critical to this idea, but we're going with Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Quebec. The former because of the size and growth rate of that metropolitan area. The latter because I believe that they were screwed by baseball and that they can once again support a team.
|National League East||National League West||American League East||American League East|
|Atlanta Braves||Arizona Diamondbacks||Baltimore Orioles||Chicago White Sox|
|Cincinnati Reds||Chicago Cubs||Boston Red Sox||Kansas City Royals|
|Miami Marlins||Colorado Rockies||Charlotte||Los Angeles Angels|
|Montreal Expos||Houston Astros||Cleveland Indians||Milwaukee Brewers|
|New York Mets||Los Angeles Dodgers||Detroit Tigers||Minnesota Twins|
|Philadelphia Phillies||San Diego Padres||New York Yankees||Oakland Athletics|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||San Francisco Giants||Tampa Bay Rays||Seattle Mariners|
|Washington Nationals||St. Louis Cardinals||Toronto Blue Jays||Texas Rangers|
The regular season
If there is interleague play, then each team plays their divisional rivals 12 times per season (84 games,) interdivisional rivals 8 times per season (64 games,) and 12 interleague games for 160 regular season games.
Without interleague play, teams play their divisional rivals 14 times (98 games) and their interdivisional rivals 8 times (64 games) for 162 games.
Who makes the playoffs?
|1st place (bye)|
|2nd place (wild card #1)|
|3rd place (wild card #2)|
|4th place (eliminated)|
|5th place (eliminated)|
|6th place (eliminated)|
|7th place (eliminated)|
|8th place (eliminated)|
The playoffs in bracket form: (click to embiggen)
The playoffs in calendar form:
|Week 1||Last Day of the Regular Season||Tie breakers and makeup games||Game 1 Divisional Wild Card Series|
|Week 2||Game 2 Divisional Wild Card Series||Game 3 Divisional Wild Card Series||Day Off||Game 1 Divisional Championship Series||Game 2 Divisional Championship Series||Game 3 Divisional Championship Series||Game 4 Divisional Championship Series|
|Week 3||Game 5 Divisional Championship Series||Game 6 Divisional Championship Series||Game 7 Divisional Championship Series||Day Off||Game 1 League Championship Series||Game 2 League Championship Series||Game 3 League Championship Series|
|Week 4||Game 4 League Championship Series||Game 5 League Championship Series||Game 6 League Championship Series||Game 7 League Championship Series||Day Off||Game 1 World Series||Game 2 World Series|
|Week 5||Travel Day||Game 3 World Series||Game 4 World Series||Game 5 World Series||Travel Day||Game 6 World Series||Game 7 World Series|