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MLB Playoff Expansion Could Force First Round Format Change

Major League Baseball plans to add another wild card team to the playoff format this season, making the two wild card teams in each league play a one-game playoff. Both MLB and the Players Association have been hammering out the details, trying to work out a proper schedule given that the 2012 season ends on a Wednesday and the playoff format was already set. To alleviate schedule concerns, the first round might revert to a 2-3 format with the team with home field advantage opening the series with two road games before coming home for three, per Amy K. Nelson of SB Nation:

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Both the players' union and MLB are still finalizing discussions, but a source told SB Nation that the 2-3 format has already been agreed upon if there is no way to keep the 2-2-1 format. The change will only be in place for the 2012 postseason, because a National League team is expected to move to the A.L. next season, which will equalize both leagues with 15 teams.

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MLB had a 2-3 format in the five-game league championship series from 1969-1984, though home field advantage alternated divisions each year rather than based on record. The division series also had a 2-3 format from 1995-1997 until switching to the new 2-2-1 format.