The 2020 Major League Baseball season is underway. It took awhile in coming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Milwaukee Brewers are back in action.

The shortened 60-game schedule got underway last weekend, though the Brewers lost two of three to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Also announced last week was an expanded postseason field in 2020.

Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union agreed last Thursday to expand the playoffs this season from 10 to 16 teams. Each league’s divisional champion and second-place team will qualify under the new format, and the final two spots will be filled by wild-card teams holding the best winning percentage of remaining teams.

The new format will still feature four rounds as in years past, but instead of a league’s two wild-card entrants facing off for a berth in the League Division Series (LDS), a three-game wild-card round will pit the top four seeded teams against the bottom four seeds to set up berths in the second round.

From there, the playoffs will proceed as they have in the past: a five-game LDS, a seven-game League Championship series and then, the World Series.

The change adds another twist to an already strange season, which will see teams play just 60 games — all of them coming against geographic rivals — and other changes like a universal designated hitter, expanded rosters and, most significantly, empty stands thanks to the lingering COVID-19 threat.

Adding teams to the postseason mix makes sense under those circumstances, especially to keep fan interest high during the pandemic — a time when people are concerned about illness, jobs, school and social distancing.

It’s hard to say how the Brewers will perform in 2020, but they always have a chance with one of the best hitters in the league in Christian Yelich, along with outfielders Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain, and pitchers Brandon Woodford, Josh Hader and Corbin Burnes.

The Brewers have a long World Series drought  and might prefer to win it in a typical season, but the Brewers have made the postseason two years in a row so they’ve put the work in to establish their legitimacy. 

Let’s hope we’re still talking about the Brewers this fall when the Green Bay Packers season is starting in September.