Only 7 game playoff series
Would anyone have complained if the Red Sox-Yankees ALDS were extended to a best-of-seven showdown last year? I think not. That doesn’t make this change a no-brainer though.
MLB has already moved the start of the regular season to late-March in order to build in more scheduled off days. Adding playoff games means the postseason could last into November. Start any earlier or end later and you risk more weather-related interruptions. We don’t need World Series games being postponed due to snow.
Moving to a 154 game regular season schedule mitigates those risks. Fewer overall games but with more postseason games that matter seems like a fair trade-off.
One drawback is that extending the ALDS takes away an advantage given to the top seeds. Under the current format, the higher seeds have the chance to push their opponent to the brink of elimination by winning the first two games of the best-of-five series on their home field. The odds of climbing out of an 0-2 hole increase dramatically in a seven game series.
This plan also doesn’t specify what to do about the Wild Card round. Is Youk implying that the Wild Card teams should play a best-of-seven series instead of the one-and-done format? Or is he saying there shouldn’t be Wild Card teams?
I wouldn’t be in favor of abandoning the Wild Card teams but Youk’s next suggestion could make it irrelevant.