MLB and the Player’s Union appear to have come to an agreement on the format of the postseason for 2020. It was announced today that the playoff schedule will indeed feature a bubble atmosphere for the final three rounds of the playoffs.
The wildcard series of games will be played at the home ballparks of the league’s top four seeds. Those games will be broadcasted by ESPN and TBS exclusively. Teams will shift to neutral sites starting with the Division Series, including Dodger Stadium hosting one of the American League Division Series.
The 2020 @MLB Postseason will begin with the AL Wild Card Series on Tuesday, 9/29, while Game One of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas will be played on Tuesday, 10/20. pic.twitter.com/KSzWMSAcBk
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) September 15, 2020
The postseason will officially start on September 29th, so there will only be one off-day for a few teams following the regular season. The MLB World Series will also be hosted at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, as previously discussed by the league.
- NLDS: Globe Life Field in Arlington and Minute Maid Park in Houston
- ALDS: Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
- NLCS: Globe Life Field
- ALCS: Petco Park
- World Series: Globe Life Field
Another interesting aspect of the playoffs this year is that there are no off-days during the series. For instance, if the Dodgers needed to play all 5 games during the Division Series, they would need to play for 5 consecutive days. The World Series will still feature off-days scheduled in.
More details from MLB on the actual plan for quarantine and the rules that go along with the bubble plan are still pending. Rob Manfred has discussed the possibility of hosting fans at the later series, but that conversation still seems a ways off.
Whatever the league decides to do, the plan to play at neutral locations will help limit travel. MLB has done a decent job of limiting COVID-19 outbreaks, and they will need to deep into October. An outbreak within a team has the potential to shut down the playoffs entirely. Look for more details on the plan to be released today.