A new postseason format means the Cleveland Indians will keep Francisco Lindor and be in contention.
With MLB and the players’ union striking an agreement, baseball will invite an unprecedented 16 teams to its postseason, which bodes well for the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians were a fringe team under the old format, which saw only five teams from each league earning postseason berths.
Now, behind a favorable schedule that pits the Tribe against beatable AL Central squads such as Kansas City and Detroit, the Indians better be one of the eight teams representing the Junior Circuit this October.
The new expanded format should keep Francisco Lindor in an Indians uniform, for at least all of what’s left of the 2020 season. The Tribe’s got a better shot to win the World Series with him, than without him, so with an increased chance of being invited to the dance, the Indians odds of making the playoffs just got a lot better.
I bring this up because pundits are always asking other pundits whether the Indians would trade Lindor if they fall out of contention. With eight teams from each league eligible for postseason play, you’re going to have to be really bad, really fast to be considered out of contention.
If the Tribe is not in the hunt to be one of the eight teams to reach October, you’d have to think that a major disaster struck Terry Francona’s roster. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 still raging, the possibility of the virus causing multiple players from team(s) to fall ill is still a scary possibility.
But for now, the already crazy MLB just got a little zanier, and that’s OK. The postseason, now a Sweet 16 in October, should be a fun ride.
Interestingly, there will be no postseason bye for the top seed, as the seeing will play out much like the NBA, with the first seed taking on the eight seed, the second seed playing the seventh seed, etc.