Major League Baseball’s regular season, “60 game sprint” has come to an end. Typically, we would have gone through what some people consider to be too long, a 162 game season, but due to unforeseen circumstances in a year like none other for sports and the world, we found ourselves witnessing the shortest MLB season to date in the modern era. Another new edition to this season was the expansion of the already expanded playoffs, 16 teams were invited to the 2020 MLB postseason, starting off with eight 3-game series in the wild card round with winners advancing to the normal ALDS/NLDS 5 game series, followed by the AL/NL Championship 7 game series, and lastly the finale – The World Series to be played on Oct 20 and concluding (if necessary) on Oct 28.
The first and second place teams in each division along with 2 wild card teams from that respective league made up the 16 teams. The Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres made up the field for this year’s postseason, being seeded based off of record/win percentage. #1 plays #8, #2 – #7 and so on. The Ray, Yankees, Astros, Athletics Marlins, Braves, Padres, and the Dodgers all advanced from their matchups.
With the 8 remaining teams and 4 matchups, each of the games are being played at neutral sites. Ironically, all but 1 have that team’s representative of the parks/fields being played at. An agreement was made for a bubble type atmosphere for the ALDS/NLCS/World Series. But it’s already starting in a way with the LDS series. The Dodgers and Padres are already playing at the site that is slated to host the championship series and the World Series. Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers’ brand new home, is the venue. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the original start time for the opening was delayed several months. It opened its doors for the first time, but not for a baseball game but for a high school graduation.
The neutral site World Series is not the first of its kind per se. In 1944 the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns faced off in the world series with both teams having played their home games at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, so not really neutral but a location that held all its games for that respective series.
With all of the AL and NL Division series closed out, the stage is set. The Astros, Rays, Braves, and the Dodgers make up the field for the Championship series. The Braves and the Dodgers both took care of business winning three games to none in their best of 5 round, with the Astros taking 4 games to get the job done. The Rays on the other hand took all 5 games to beat the Yankees. The winners of these matchups will meet on October 20 in Game 1 of the 2020 World Series.
- Nick Gilbert / October 2020 / HLGU Vanguard