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SB Nation Reacts: MLB fans sound off on an expanded postseason

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Most don’t want one.

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Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Chicago Cubs fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

The abbreviated 2020 season required more than a few COVID-related adjustments to make it happen. One of the biggest changes was the playoff system. For the first time ever, 16 teams — eight from each league — reached the postseason.

For now, it doesn’t appear the season will be shortened, at least not to the extent it was in 2020. However, with much about this season yet to be decided, there has been no announcement about the size of the 2021 playoff field. If it were up to fans, though, the playoffs would shrink before they expand.

According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, a majority of fans would rather not have the playoff field expand beyond the pre-2020 number of 10 teams.

While some fans are willing to make an exception for some of the oddities that may happen in 2021, even fewer want those changes to stay in place. Only about a third of fans want an expanded playoff format to be put in place permanently.

The playoff field expanded from four teams to eight teams for the first time in 1995 with the first inclusion of a Wild Card team. A second Wild Card team was added in 2012 with the playing of the first Wild Card Games.

While 16 teams might not be realistic for a normal season, the idea of expanding the playoffs has been considered by MLB moguls, primarily for money reasons. But it’s clear, if anything, fans would rather have fewer teams in the postseason.

31 percent of MLB fans said they would most prefer an eight-team playoff bracket. That’s followed by 27 percent that want a return to the 10-team bracket. Only 30 percent want the playoffs to expand in any way, and some would rather see the postseason shrink.

Exact numbers: Six teams (13 percent), eight teams (31 percent), 10 teams (27 percent), 12 teams (18 percent), 14 teams (5 percent), 16 teams (7 percent).

To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.