The Miami Marlins were eliminated in the NL Wild Card series by the Philadelphia Phillies. This happened without the reigning NL Cy Young award winner Sandy Alcantara, and breakout star Eury Pérez. I'm sure that the results of those two games would be different had both been healthy and able to pitch. As glad as I am about The Fish making the playoffs this season, there are questions now about the playoff format.
The Miami Marlins may have been eliminated by the National League champions.
It's probably not going to make us feel any better, but it's possible that the Miami Marlins were eliminated by the National League champions and not just another Wild Card team. Next season the Miami Marlins will hopefully compete for the division, but would finishing with one of the top two NL records be a liability?! Prominent analysts seem to think so. What exactly is the issue?
When the new playoff format was envisioned, the idea was to give division winning teams a reward. It doesn't seem to be working out at all. Last season, two of the four "rewarded" division winners were eliminated in the division series. More specifically, it was both of the National League teams: the defending champions Atlanta Braves, and the 111 win (best record in the Majors) Los Angeles Dodgers.
This season, two of the four "rewarded" teams have already been swept out of the playoffs. The 100 win Los Angeles Dodgers have been eliminated by the 84 win Arizona Diamondbacks. The 101 win Baltimore Orioles were eliminated by the 90 win Texas Rangers. The 104 win Atlanta Braves are close to being eliminated by the 90 win Philadelphia Phillies.
Are those series flukes? There's a possibility that some teams are good during the long season, but aren't built for the playoffs. The Los Angeles Dodgers won 111 and 100 wins the last two seasons, while the Atlanta Braves won 101 and 104 games. Both teams were the two "rewarded" teams eliminated last season. LA has been eliminated the same way this season, and Atlanta looks likely to be as well.
Is extra rest taking teams out of "their zone" and ruining the hitters' timing? LA scored 5.59 runs per game during the season and Atlanta scored 5.85. In the playoffs however, LA scored 2.0 runs per game and Atlanta has so far scored 2.3 runs per game. We need more data, but so far the same teams have been affected in both seasons. The only "new" one has been Baltimore, which I personally think has overachieved to begin this.
What do you think?