One of the enduring laws of this particular universe is: "An expanded playoff field shall beget revised playoff projections." 

MLB and the Players Association took care of the first part of that when they agreed to expand the 2020 postseason from the 10 teams, which has been the norm since 2012, to 16 teams. Needless to say, that's a huge leap -- from one-third of the league making the playoffs to more than one-half. All six division winners and all six division runner-ups make the playoffs in addition to two wild card teams in each league. You can read more about the specifics of the 2020 postseason structure here.

As for the second half of that immutable law above, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) is there for those with nowhere left to turn. Here's how its creator Stephen Oh describes the model: 

"The model takes each player's stats, determines the probability of every outcome per plate appearance (given the pitcher, batter, situation, etc.) and simulates a single game. We repeat the simulation thousands of times to calculate each team's chances of winning. We use each game's simulated win percentages to do our playoff forecasts and bets against the odds. In addition to tracking team wins/losses, we track the stats that the players' generate in the simulations (both individual game and the sum of the entire season)."

Now let's see what SportsLine says about the 2020 playoff odds, revised to reflect the expanded postseason field. First up, the American League: 

TEAMWLWin%Win Div2nd DivPlayoff Odds
New York Yankees 39.120.965.2%71.7%21.3%98.4%
Minnesota Twins 37.122.961.9%58.4%29.9%95.9%
Houston Astros 35.324.758.8%49.8%29.6%90.5%
Cleveland Indians 34.525.557.4%31.1%43.1%88.0%
Tampa Bay Rays 33.926.156.5%20.0%45.3%84.8%
Oakland Athletics 33.626.456.0%33.6%33.4%82.6%
Boston Red Sox 30.429.650.6%6.8%24.2%60.5%
Chicago White Sox30.129.950.2%9.4%22.1%58.2%
Los Angeles Angels 29.330.748.8%9.6%19.7%51.2%
Texas Rangers28.131.946.9%6.5%15.5%40.7%
Toronto Blue Jays26.533.544.2%1.5%9.0%26.9%
Kansas City Royals24.036.040.1%0.8%4.5%13.4%
Seattle Mariners21.938.136.6%0.4%2.0%5.9%
Detroit Tigers19.740.332.8%0.1%0.6%2.1%
Baltimore Orioles18.141.930.2%0.1%0.3%0.9%

Briefly: W-L is each team's average win-loss total across all sims followed by the average win percentage; "Win Div" is their chances of winning the division, and "2nd Div" is their chances of finishing second (which also yields a playoff berth; "Playoff Odds" is the team's chances of making the postseason by any means. 

So if these projections are realized, here's how the AL playoff field would be seeded: 

  1. Yankees
  2. Twins
  3. Astros
  4. Indians
  5. Rays
  6. Athletics
  7. Red Sox
  8. White Sox

As you can see above, the Yankees are now virtual locks to make the playoffs, and the Twins and Astros also check in with playoff odds north of 90 percent. Those two wild card spots also figure to be hotly contested, as the Angels (despite perhaps the toughest schedule of all) and Rangers are within range. Heck, even the Royals have a puncher's chance at the postseason under this revised format. 

Now let's survey the National League picture: 

TEAMWLWin%Win Div2nd DivPlayoff Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers 40.719.367.9%85.3%12.5%99.2%
Washington Nationals 34.425.657.4%40.4%27.0%82.4%
Chicago Cubs 34.225.856.9%36.9%25.7%79.7%
Atlanta Braves 32.927.154.8%27.8%27.8%73.4%
Arizona Diamondbacks 32.627.454.3%11.4%53.3%74.2%
Milwaukee Brewers32.327.753.8%22.2%24.2%67.5%
Cincinnati Reds32.227.853.7%21.2%25.0%67.8%
St Louis Cardinals 31.428.652.3%17.8%21.3%60.2%
New York Mets30.829.251.3%15.4%21.2%56.3%
Philadelphia Phillies 30.729.351.1%15.0%21.7%56.0%
San Diego Padres27.132.945.2%1.6%15.4%27.7%
San Francisco Giants25.734.342.9%0.8%9.6%17.8%
Colorado Rockies 25.634.442.7%0.9%9.2%17.5%
Pittsburgh Pirates24.535.540.9%1.6%4.0%12.5%
Miami Marlins23.236.838.7%1.0%2.8%7.9%

And the projected playoff seedings for the senior circuit: 

  1. Dodgers
  2. Nationals
  3. Cubs
  4. Braves
  5. Diamondbacks
  6. Brewers
  7. Reds
  8. Cardinals

We see much more compression in the NL. Ten teams have playoff odds of more than 50 percent, and even the Marlins at the very back end have a somewhat playable figure of 7.9 percent. The Dodgers, not surprisingly, tower over the remainder of the circuit when it comes to likelihood of making the postseason. The Mets and Phillies have much have realistic designs on those wild card spots, and Padres also have better than a one-in-four shot of making the postseason. With this many playoff spots in play across just 60 games, chaos could reign. That especially figures to be the case in the NL.