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NPB Playoff System

Discussion in the Open Talk forum
NPB Playoff System
Entering the second half of the season and playoff races are starting to take shape, very open in the PL and pretty close to set in the CL.

I'm personally not a fan of the current playoff setup and was wondering what other NPB fans would propose for a playoff system.

My proposal would be that the two top teams play a 7 seven game series for the right to play the other league's champion in the Japan Series. The regular season champ would get home field advantage (play at home 4 of the 7 games).

Currently a fairly bad team can make it in the 3rd spot like the Dragons (my favorite team) but by having two strong starting pitchers and a solid back-end of the bullpen, they have a good chance at advancing. Though they get no home games in the first round 3-game series. Also the rules that favor the regular season champ in the LCS 7-game series are beyond ridiculous.

Just wondering what other fans like/dislike or would propose.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jul 9, 2010 10:47 AM ]

Well, this topic was beaten to death many times in the past.

Given the current number of teams and the fact that professional sports are business, there isn't much room for improvement.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: IsaacWA | Posted: Jul 10, 2010 12:33 AM | CHU Fan ]

I would say there is definitely room for improvement.
Just wondering if there was any new ideas out there.
Doesn't seem to be much discussion on here lately.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jul 10, 2010 1:08 AM ]

Two teams as opposed to three teams? Improvement or just personal preference? From a business perspective, three teams are favorable.

There are two leagues with six teams each. There isn't much you can do.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: IsaacWA | Posted: Jul 10, 2010 3:41 AM | CHU Fan ]

From this fan's perspective, three teams creates problems because you have one team waiting around for a week to see who they will play. To offset that they do only a 3-game series in only one city, neglecting the 3rd place team's fanbase altogether (though in Japan it is easier to get to an opposing team's stadium than in the US).
If you just want to make money and don't care about having crappy teams playing take the top four teams, 2/3 of the league (the NHL does it) and run it like the MLB playoffs.
But to me taking the top two from each league will create enough of a pennant race to keep most fan bases interested for a majority of the season, in most years, but will keep teams that don't belong out of the playoffs.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jul 10, 2010 7:57 AM ]

I understand the problem of the idle period.

But let me offer an argument against the two-team-playoff system. Consider a scenario where the second team only cares about securing the playoff berth. They deliberately change the pitching rotation and give off-days to important players. Under this scenario, games between the first and the second team don't matter, which should matter the most under normal circumstances. If more than two teams go into playoffs, this tactics become much harder.

To me, it's all balancing act between making money and keeping the integrity of the sport. Two or three teams, an automatic win or home field advantage, I hardly see any improvement come out of it given the current number of teams.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: IsaacWA | Posted: Jul 10, 2010 8:28 AM | CHU Fan ]

You are saying that if more teams make it into the playoffs, then fewer teams will play less than 100% in games down the stretch.
I would think that the opposite may be true.
For example this season:
The CL is almost already decided at this point if the Dragons continue at .500 for the next month or so, all three of the top teams can coast the rest of the way and try to rest players and find the best matchups for the postseason. With only two teams making it in Chunichi would be desperate to catch up and Hanshin would have to try to hold them off.
In the PL there would are four teams within 3.5 games all competing for one spot (if you don't include Seibu who is only 3 games in first place.
Of course there will be seasons where there are only two dominant teams leaving the rest behind, like you described, but that is the nature of a season with so many games. There will plenty of other seasons where they don't. I guess I would rather see competition between pretty good teams 2nd and 3rd place calibre, than 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams at or below .500.
Sorry that got kind of long
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: IsaacWA | Posted: Aug 12, 2010 1:47 AM | CHU Fan ]

Looks like the Cental League is changing the name of the LCS from Climax Stage 2 to Final Series, that's a start, but here are the real changes I think they should make in order of importance:

1) Get rid of the automatic win for regular season champion in Game 1 of League Champ. Series.
2) No ties in playoff games
3) Either 2 or 4 teams from each league should make the playoffs
4) Each team should get at least one home game in a playoff series, even a 3-game series.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Aug 26, 2010 4:57 PM | YBS Fan ]

As mentioned, the complaints about a sub-.500 team making it have been beaten to death before. It hasn't happened since this scheme was thought of, and it's unlikely to happen.

But you say you want an improvement to the current post-season setup? How about we create a tournament with two divisions organized something like this:

Division 1 Division 2
NPB-CL 1st NPB-PL 1st
NPB-PL 2nd NPB-CL 2nd
KBO 1st CPBL 1st ) Alternate between
CPBL 2nd KBO 2nd ) divisions each year

Wait! What happened to the Japan Series? Or the Korea Series? Or the Taiwan Series? Merge them all into a new and improved Asia Series that lasts for weeks and visits each country. Each team must play each other in the bracket at least 3 times, 4 teams advance to the next phase, pitting #1 vs. #2 from each division for a best of 5, then it's down to 2 teams for a best of 7.

I want more international games. Now that I've gotten inter-league games within Japan, I'm still not satisfied with the variety. I want to see inter-Pacific games that count, between teams, not all stars, during the regular season. I want more teams involved in post-season, especially from the neighboring leagues.

There is always room for improvement. I'd like to look beyond the current borders to do so.

Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: IsaacWA | Posted: Sep 1, 2010 1:34 AM | CHU Fan ]

Part of the problem with the current system is the combination of a 3-game series with a potentially undeserving team, in a longer series the stronger team would win more often. Ok, I'm done on the subject.

Really like your idea, especially how you set up the divisions, with the separation of the PL and CL and the rotation.
I would suggest a double elimination bracket with winners and losers bracket winners playing a series to go to the final series or having the 1st place teams in each division playing the 2nd place teams in a 5-game series, moving on to 7-games series'.
Round robin tournaments always end up being decided by wierd tiebreakers or having games near the end between teams that are already out versus teams still alive. Would rather have something where every game has meaning.

Either way I think your idea would be great for the fans, looks like Korea and Taiwan only have one division, so I think not having their playoffs would be less contriversial than not having a Japan Series. But I also think for the near future, more often than not it would be a Japan vs Japan final.

Hopefully someday something like this could happen

Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Sep 2, 2010 5:49 PM ]

I rather like the 3 game play-in series between 2nd and 3rd place teams. Because, if scheduled properly, it duly punishes whichever team that wins the mini-series by completely messing with their rotation, while rewarding the 1st place team appropriately with a few days additional rest. The 1 game advantage is rather unnecessary in this scenario.

Scheduling is an issue though.
Re: NPB Playoff System
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 2, 2010 10:54 AM | YBS Fan ]

[Reviving old topic]

I think that a double elimination between the top 8 teams sounds like a very good idea as well. No seeds, just a random draw? That could help make it harder for a Japan vs. Japan final if Japan gets bunched together at one end of the tree.

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