MLB unveils condensed playoff schedule at neutral ballparks

Sep 15 2020, 1:46 pm

The World Series will take place at a neutral site for the first time in modern history, Major League Baseball announced today.

The plan was included in the rollout of MLB’s postseason schedule, which is expanded this season to 16 teams for the first time ever.

Best-of-three Wild Card Series will begin on September 29, to be played entirely at home ballparks of each of the top four seeds in each league. The one exception is the Toronto Blue Jays, who will continue to use Buffalo’s Sahlen Field as their home stadium due to the closed Canada/USA border, in the event that they finish as a top-four seed.

The remainder of the playoffs will be played at predetermined locations, in the interest of “health, safety and competitive considerations,” MLB announced. The American League side of the playoff bracket will be played entirely in California, at San Diego’s Petco Park and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Playoff games in the National League will be held in Texas, at Houston’s Minute Maid Park and Globe Life Field in Arlington — the brand new home of the Texas Rangers.

San Diego and Arlington will host the ALCS and NLCS, respectively, while the Texas Rangers home ballpark will be the venue for the World Series.

The World Series is scheduled to begin on October 20 and finish no later than October 28.

While fans have been absent at all games so far this season, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred recently told The Athletic that he’s “hopeful” the World Series and League Championship Series could have “limited fan capacity.”

The postseason schedule will be more condensed than usual, helped by the fact that there will be no in-series travel. For that reason, MLB has been able to schedule series without any off-days, with the exception of the World Series, which calls for a day off after Game 2 and Game 5.

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