Okay, what a season, a total 60 game sprint season in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic; we have a week off re-catch our breath and start to think about the MLB postseason. This year’s postseason is going to look different from previous years. (Why not, it’s 2020, right??)
Since the regular season has officially ended, we figured that it’s time to go over some Postseason changes.
Change #1 – The Number Of Teams Making The Playoffs
The number of teams making the postseason has to be the most significant change. There will be sixteen teams that will make the postseason—eight teams from the American League and eight teams from the National League.
Each of the league’s three division winners and the teams that also finish in second-place will also earn a playoff birth.
The final two teams (the Wild Card Teams) are determined by the teams with the next best records. The postseason format will feature four rounds, beginning with the Wild Card Series (which will be best-of-three)
Change #2 Where Will The Games Be Played?
Say goodbye to home-field advantage during the playoffs. As with the rest of the season, there might be no fans in the stands. The Division Series, League Champion Series, and World Series will all be played at neutral sites in Southern California and Texas.
The 2020 World Series will begin on October 20, 2020, at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The higher-seeded team – not necessarily the team with the best records – will reportedly have last at-bats in Games 1 and 2 and then in Games 6 and 7, if necessary.
Change #3: Fans & Rules
There will be the most significant adjustment with no fans during the playoffs, but there is a possibility of fans in the stadium during the World Series. Bob Nightengale of USA Today interviewed Rob Manfred and was asked about the topic. “We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas,’’ said Manfred in the interview.
“One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game.’’
During the 2020 season, MLB introduced some interesting new rules such as the universal DH, the three-batter minimum for pitchers, and the second base’s automatic runner to begin each extra inning.
But the regular-season rule that puts a runner on second base to start each extra inning will not be in effect during the postseason. So gear up, and let’s have some fun watching another MLB postseason.