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Padres’ chances could be optimized by shortened season, expanded playoff field

The Padres’ streak of postseason futility would be over. The Nationals’ 2019 World Series run would never have been.

Those are just two of the peculiarities that would have occurred (or not) had the past five seasons consisted of just 82 games apiece. And a look at the standings at the midpoint (plus one game) in those five years shows how interesting and muddled the playoff picture could be if Major League Baseball goes forward with an abbreviated 2020 season.

The plan submitted by owners calls for an 82-game season and a playoff field expanded by two teams (to seven) in each league.