David D’Annibale, Staff Writer |
The MLB regular season has ended, and the postseason is underway having started on Sept. 29. The regular season only included 60 games. The MLB helped all 30 teams by expanding rosters, adding a designated hitter in the National League and increasing the number of playoff teams to 16. The first round of the playoffs will allow the higher seed to have home-field advantage.
Round one will include a three-game series, which means the team to win two games will advance to the next round. After round one is completed, the winners of each series will move on to the division round. The division round will differ from the previous round as the team to win three games will advance and all games will be played at a neutral site. Theses neutral sites are in Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Arlington. The MLB made this change to the playoffs to help prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. This change is like the NBA decision to have everyone play in Orlando for their regular and postseason. Once the divisional round concludes, winning teams will advance to the championship series. The Championship series will include seven games if needed as the team to win four games will advance to the final round. The World Series will also be a seven-game series and be played in Arlington.
This season included many obstacles as teams had to overcome COVID-19 outbreaks and play doubleheaders to make up postponed games. The Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals had to endure large outbreaks that resulted in both teams postponing games. However, both teams were able to overcome missed time and have earned playoff spots. The postseason will not contain last season’s champions, The Washington Nationals, as they finished in fourth place this season. Another team that fell below expectations was the New York Mets. The Mets lost most of their starting pitchers due to injuries and players deciding to opt-out. It will be interesting to see how the new extended playoff format will play out with lower-seeded teams getting an opportunity to compete for a World Series. Also, the commissioner Rob Manfred stated that he expects fans to attend the conference finals and the World Series.
For the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays will host the Toronto Blue Jays, the Chicago White Sox will travel to Oakland to take on the Athletics, the Minnesota Twins will play the Houston Astros at home and the Yankees will not have home-field advantage against the Cleveland Indians. All games will start Tuesday and continue through Wednesday. However, game three of every series will be held on the following Thursday if needed.
For the National League, The Los Angeles Dodgers will face off against the Milwaukee Brewers at home. The Reds will play their series against the Braves in Atlanta. The Chicago Cubs will host the Miami Marlins and the Cardinals will travel to San Diego to take on the Padres. Game one for every series will begin on Wednesday and game two will take place on Thursday with game three being held on Friday.
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