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2021 Postseason Discussion and Game Thread


cHawk
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ALCS/NLCS Results Poll  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Who wins the WS?

    • Braves
      5
    • Astros
      1


So, who do you hate less, the Sox or the Astros?

I honestly wasn't sure before I started watching but I can't really bring myself to root for the Sox. They must have annoyed me this year more than I thought when it's enough to make me root for the cheaters instead. 🤮

Anyway, I hope the winner is swept by the Rays in humiliating fashion in the ALCS. 

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1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

I'd argue the opposite. The "need" to win the division adds far more excitement to the regular season than seeding would. If the Dodgers and Giants both know they're getting a full series whether they win the division or not they're not fighting til the last day of the regular season for wins. They pull off the gas and trust their talent in a series. I love the drama of the 1 game wild card. Makes every regular season game matter. 1 game divided them, 1 game kept Toronto and Seattle out completely. AL WC was a tie which means 1 game could've had NY at home. If you're playing 162 games you need all the systems you can to make each game matter. You want more fans to tune in? Create more drama. I think this is good for the game. 

That excitement or lack thereof can just as easily occur without a 1 game WC. I'm with you on wanting regular season games to matter, I just don't see watering down the postseason as the best way to do that. 

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57 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

Baseball playoffs will ALWAYS reduce the importance of the regular season.  Nature of small sample sizes.  Given that inherent cruelty.....might as well embrace the fun that comes with do or die games.

Agreed, but then at least give me a series and try to be a little representative of what the regular season is. A 1 game WC is akin to deciding extra innings with a HR derby. 

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35 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Agreed, but then at least give me a series and try to be a little representative of what the regular season is. A 1 game WC is akin to deciding extra innings with a HR derby. 

I don’t mind one game series in baseball, how much consideration should a 2nd or 3rd place team get?

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38 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Agreed, but then at least give me a series and try to be a little representative of what the regular season is. A 1 game WC is akin to deciding extra innings with a HR derby. 

If baseball were in better shape as a sport I'd be inclined to agree, but I think we're at "hit the panic button like a toddler rings a doorbell".  Single game craziness it is for me.

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1 hour ago, Sielk said:

So, who do you hate less, the Sox or the Astros?

I honestly wasn't sure before I started watching but I can't really bring myself to root for the Sox. They must have annoyed me this year more than I thought when it's enough to make me root for the cheaters instead. 🤮

Anyway, I hope the winner is swept by the Rays in humiliating fashion in the ALCS. 

If Houston’s cheaters would have been held accountable I could deal with them being in the playoffs, but MLB tolerates cheaters, yet they’ll suspend a player for 81 games for using a “banned substance” some of which are nothing more than vitamins. 

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4 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

If baseball were in better shape as a sport I'd be inclined to agree, but I think we're at "hit the panic button like a toddler rings a doorbell".  Single game craziness it is for me.

Frankly, I don’t really get the fuss anymore. I’m fine with three games but one is more fun and immediate. Three would be more balanced.

Given the massive problems with this sport, a one game playoff probably doesn’t make the top 20 for me. 

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3 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Frankly, I don’t really get the fuss anymore. I’m fine with three games but one is more fun and immediate. Three would be more balanced.

Given the massive problems with this sport, a one game playoff probably doesn’t make the top 20 for me. 

I'm kinda in this boat.  I really don't like the WC games, but they're pretty low on my gripes list these days.

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7 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Frankly, I don’t really get the fuss anymore. I’m fine with three games but one is more fun and immediate. Three would be more balanced.

Given the massive problems with this sport, a one game playoff probably doesn’t make the top 20 for me. 

My only gripe is that they aren't fair to regular season dominance which is a far better measure of a team.  But that's not what the playoffs are for.  If we want to crown the "most deserving" team the winner then the only logical thing to do is not have a playoffs at all.

Since that ain't happening....embrace the whacky nature of do or die games.

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52 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Agreed, but then at least give me a series and try to be a little representative of what the regular season is. A 1 game WC is akin to deciding extra innings with a HR derby. 

Single-game tiebreakers have been part of the MLB play since the advent of divisions and expansion. The Bucky Dent game, or the 2009 Twins-Tigers game 163, or the 2007 Rockies-Padres game 163, are hardly akin to a HR derby.

To me, it seems like a good balance right now. The playoff field isn't overly large as to seem diluted. The regular season is about division races. And the postseason is a tournament for regular season division champs plus a tiebreaker between the two best non-division winners.

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There’s not a right answer for series length in baseball. They can’t stretch it out much further when teams are located in northern climates. Personally I think the NBA/NHL playoffs go way too long and defeat the purpose of having a regular season. Baseball might as well embrace chaos of do or die games.

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50 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

My only gripe is that they aren't fair to regular season dominance which is a far better measure of a team.  But that's not what the playoffs are for.  If we want to crown the "most deserving" team the winner then the only logical thing to do is not have a playoffs at all.

Since that ain't happening....embrace the whacky nature of do or die games.

Yeah, I don’t really have a huge problem with the postseason being different than the regular season. If anything, if mlb sold it properly, it’d be a selling point for the sport. 

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5 hours ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Single-game tiebreakers have been part of the MLB play since the advent of divisions and expansion. The Bucky Dent game, or the 2009 Twins-Tigers game 163, or the 2007 Rockies-Padres game 163, are hardly akin to a HR derby.

To me, it seems like a good balance right now. The playoff field isn't overly large as to seem diluted. The regular season is about division races. And the postseason is a tournament for regular season division champs plus a tiebreaker between the two best non-division winners.

Sure, but those tiebreakers are between two teams who actually tied, not teams that finished 16 games apart. 

It's not at the dilution point of the NBA or NHL, but I don't think there's really a regular season comp for MLB either. We agree about what the postseason is at this point. 

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6 hours ago, LVTwinsfan said:

how much consideration should a 2nd or 3rd place team get?

Kind of my point.

6 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

If baseball were in better shape as a sport I'd be inclined to agree, but I think we're at "hit the panic button like a toddler rings a doorbell".  Single game craziness it is for me.

Fair

6 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Frankly, I don’t really get the fuss anymore. I’m fine with three games but one is more fun and immediate. Three would be more balanced.

Given the massive problems with this sport, a one game playoff probably doesn’t make the top 20 for me. 

Not making a fuss, rather an observation. 

I don't think a 1 game WC is the most pressing issue with the sport either, but I also don't view it as great for the game long term, a la other decisions MLB has made. 

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Today’s games:

ALDS Game 2 (Astros lead 1-0)
Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros
SP: Lucas Giolito (White Sox) vs. Framber Valdez (Astros)
Time: 1:07 PM Central Standard Time
Venue: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Broadcast: FS1
Odds: Astros +400, White Sox +1200

NLDS Game 2
Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers
SP: Charlie Morton (Braves) vs. Corbin Burnes (Brewers)
Time: 3:37 PM Central Standard Time
Venue: American Family Field, Milwaukee
Broadcast: TBS
Odds: Brewers -155, Braves +135

ALDS Game 2 (Rays lead 1-0)
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
SP: Chris Sale (Red Sox) vs. Shane Baz (Rays)
Time: 6:02 PM Central Standard Time
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Broadcast: FS1
Odds: Rays -135, Red Sox +115

NLDS Game 1
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
SP: Walker Buehler (Dodgers) vs. Logan Webb (Giants)
Time: 8:37 PM Central Standard Time
Venue: Oracle Park, San Francisco
Broadcast: TBS
Odds: Dodgers -120, Giants +100

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Gee ... look which teams get the 'prime time' slots? (not surprising)

I'm cheering for the White Sox over the Astros and the Brewers over the Braves and the Rays over the Red Sox. And I guess the Giants over the Rays. This won't be, but I thought it would be fun for the series to be the Brewers vs the White Sox in the WS. Cubs' fans would go nuts with that. Heh. Although, Most Cub fans aren't true baseball fans anyway, so probably don't follow it at all.

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6 hours ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Sure, but those tiebreakers are between two teams who actually tied, not teams that finished 16 games apart. 

It's not a traditional tie for sure, but they are the two best non-division winners. Personally, I think that's a valid form of tie in the modern system, to encourage the most regular season competition and minimize coasting among upcoming playoff participants. And limiting it to 2 teams in a single-game playoff is an exciting way to resolve it without spending too much extra time sorting non-division winners. (Especially considering additional tiebreakers may still be necessary, like in 2018 and 2013.)

What's your preferred specific alternative? You've stated your perceived problem, but I don't think you've offered your solution yet.

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1 hour ago, Mike Sixel said:

Best of two, for the wild card. Then re-seed.

Thanks for sharing! This is a fun thought exercise.

You mean, the 1st wild card just has to win 1, while the 2nd wild card has to win 2 to advance? That would lessen the penalty for finishing 2nd in your division, but increase the penalty for finishing 2nd in the wild card. Personally, I don't think I would make that trade, especially considering that schedules among division competitors are the most similar -- I think that's the race that should have the greater consequences.

Re-seeding also reduces the consequences of finishing 2nd, because you can still get home field beyond the WC game/round. Re-seeing may allow a top seed to avoid a great wild card team -- but that's offset by a great wild card team potentially avoiding the top seed too. Top seed may actually prefer to face the great wild card team in the shorter DS round, rather than potentially in the longer CS round, depending on roster construction and other factors (Dodger depth might help them in a longer series?).

As a fan watching at home, I certainly don't mind that we're getting Giants-Dodgers in the DS round, rather than seeing them in the CS round or seeing an upset of the Giants or Dodgers in the DS round -- they all seem like reasonably equal entertainment options to me. FWIW, ticket-holding fans, stadium staff, and the league in general all probably prefer not to re-seed, so they know earlier what their home game assignments are. In the absence of a compelling benefit otherwise, I might default to that too -- seeding just isn't that important in baseball (which is part of the reason the WC game was introduced).

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4 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Thanks for sharing! This is a fun thought exercise.

You mean, the 1st wild card just has to win 1, while the 2nd wild card has to win 2 to advance? That would lessen the penalty for finishing 2nd in your division, but increase the penalty for finishing 2nd in the wild card. Personally, I don't think I would make that trade, especially considering that schedules among division competitors are the most similar -- I think that's the race that should have the greater consequences.

Re-seeding also reduces the consequences of finishing 2nd, because you can still get home field beyond the WC game/round. Re-seeing may allow a top seed to avoid a great wild card team -- but that's offset by a great wild card team potentially avoiding the top seed too. Top seed may actually prefer to face the great wild card team in the shorter DS round, rather than potentially in the longer CS round, depending on roster construction and other factors (Dodger depth might help them in a longer series?).

As a fan watching at home, I certainly don't mind that we're getting Giants-Dodgers in the DS round, rather than seeing them in the CS round or seeing an upset of the Giants or Dodgers in the DS round -- they all seem like reasonably equal entertainment options to me. FWIW, ticket-holding fans, stadium staff, and the league in general all probably prefer not to re-seed, so they know earlier what their home game assignments are. In the absence of a compelling benefit otherwise, I might default to that too -- seeding just isn't that important in baseball (which is part of the reason the WC game was introduced).

All fair. If you want the "best" team to have the best odds, the Dodgers should not be punished for playing in the same division as the Giants. That's where I come from. The won 106 games, while having to play the Giants a lot......much harder than what Atlanta faced. It is really about what you want out of the second season. Given the stupid emphasis on playoffs, I want the better teams to get more rewards/benefits. But, there is no right answer here. It is just entertainment afterall.

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3 hours ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

What's your preferred specific alternative? You've stated your perceived problem, but I don't think you've offered your solution yet.

In general I'd love to see a regional reshuffling or elimination of divisions, and a more balanced schedule, but that's another topic altogether. If divisions are the ticket to postseason play, and that design is being subverted, maybe it's time to rethink it. From there, take the top 4 teams and play a 7 game ALDS and ALCS. I'm willing to go different ways with formatting and series length + number of teams but I definitely skew away from a single game elimination after playing 162 regular season games.

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