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Report: MLB prefers 14-team expanded postseason format

Joe Sargent / Major League Baseball / Getty

Major League Baseball's 16-team postseason is underway for the first time in history, and though team owners prefer an expanded format, they want to shrink the field slightly.

Team owners prefer a 14-team playoff structure with the best club in each league earning a first-round bye, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Under the current structure, the 43-win Los Angeles Dodgers and 40-win Tampa Bay Rays faced the eighth-seeded Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively. The Brewers were one of two teams to qualify for the postseason with a losing record, finishing 29-31. The Houston Astros finished with the same record but were granted the sixth seed - better than the wild-card Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox - because they finished second in their division.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in mid-September that "an overwhelming majority" of owners prefer the expanded postseason format.

Any changes to the traditional 10-team playoff format beyond 2020 need to be approved by the MLBPA. It was reported during negotiations for a return-to-play plan this past summer that the players were willing to accept an expanded postseason structure for both 2020 and 2021.

The league's current collective bargaining agreement with the players' union expires following the 2021 campaign.

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