MLB announces new playoff format with 2 WC's

MLB has announced a new, ten team playoff format which includes two additional Wild Cards and an elimination game prior to the start Division Series.

The Wild Card with the lower seed will get the first two home games of the Division Series in 2012 only, and the format will revert back beginning in 2013. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says this change is to eliminate the off-day before game 5 of the Division Series, which was already scheduled.

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Michael Baron: I don’t object to adding two extra Wild Card teams at this point, and I agree with putting an emphasis on winning the division. I also agree this will keep more teams in the race for a longer time, which in turn extends the pennant race for most teams late in the season; that can lead to larger revenue streams for teams which otherwise might not have existed due to being far out of a playoff spot. But I question the fairness of a scenario where the top Wild Card has a multiple-game lead over the second wild card, and that deficit can be made up by winning the last game of the year.

I also wonder if MLB will change the date of the trade deadline. With the extra Wild Card, July 31 might be a bit premature for teams to determine their status for a playoff run. Perhaps extending it by 15 days or so would make for a better barometer for clubs to determine whether they should add to their roster for a run.

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For more on the changes to the playoff format, check out MLB.com.