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MLB Adds Two Wildcard Teams To 2012 Playoffs: Could Be Ideal For Kansas City Royals

Major League Baseball has expanded the playoffs from eight to 10 teams and while the move will draw some critics, some believe teams like the Kansas City Royals will benefit.

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Major League Baseball announced on Friday that they will be changing up the playoffs for the upcoming season by adding two wildcard teams to the mix, making it 10 teams that will be playing in October instead of eight. The two wildcard teams will have a one-game playoff in which the winner will advance to play the team with the best regular-season record.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the team that wins the one-game play off won't have to go on the road right away.

Yet, for the first time since 1995-1997, the team with the worst record will host the first two games of the best-of-five division series before playing the final three games (if necessary) at the site of the team with the best record.

MLB.com's Richard Justice believes that some will think that this new playoff format will just guarantee teams like the Yankees and Red Sox a "free pass into the postseason," but he also believes that the Royals will greatly benefit from the new format as well.

Even better, the Royals and Blue Jays and Nationals have to be ecstatic. Suddenly, their path to the postseason became easier. If it's a one-game playoff, they're thrilled to have it.

Can you imagine how great it would be to see Kaufmann Stadium packed again, the way it used to be, with the Royals showing the world that they're back? The additional hope that Kansas City and other teams now have is why this is a great day for baseball.

It will be interesting to see how the new system plays out at the end of the season and which teams benefit from it and which teams don't. For now, though, teams like the Royals have bigger things to worry about.

For more on the Royals, head to Royals Review.