The Colorado Rockies may be able to take advantage of a few possible changes in the playoff structure in 2020.
When the 2020 season resumes, there may be some significant changes to baseball, particularly in the playoff structure and the Colorado Rockies could be one of the teams that could benefit most from the changes.
The biggest changes that seem to be most likely are a shortened season and four more teams in the postseason.
How the shortened season would help
The shortened season just seems likely due to the regular season starting in June or July. Even with a reduction of off-days, scheduled doubleheaders, and the regular season going well into October, it may not be possible to get all 162 games in for each team.
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Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs recently used his ZiPS program to predict the chances of reaching the postseason for each of the 30 teams. For the Rockies, here’s how their chances would look.
- For a 162 game season, their chance of making the postseason is 0.7 percent.
- For a 140 game season, their chance of making the postseason goes from 0.7 percent to 1.0 percent.
- For a 110 game season, the chance of making the playoffs goes up to 6.9 percent.
- For an 81 game season (or half a season), the Rockies’ chance of making the postseason goes up to 13.8 percent.
Out of all 30 MLB teams, the Rockies have the sixth-highest percentage increase of making the postseason. That is also the highest of all the NL West teams. The Dodgers, on the other hand, would see their chances drop the most of all teams, as it would drop from 98.7 percent to 71.4 percent.
In addition, if there are fewer games, there are fewer chances of injuries, which was a big factor of why the 2019 Rockies won 20 fewer games than they did in 2018.
How having more teams in the playoffs would help
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that MLB may decide to expand the number of postseason teams from 10 to 14 so that they would have more “big games, boost excitement, and yes[,] revenue.”
For a full season, an NL team would likely only have to win 83-85 games or so to get into the postseason. This would obviously be a much more manageable gain for the Rockies since they won 71 games in 2019. If they get slightly more closer to their 2018 season than their 2019 season, that puts them right in the thick of things in the NL.
If the season is shortened and there are more playoff teams, the Rockies may be able to take advantage of them so Rockies fans will have a Rocktober to remember once again.