written by: Curt Berry, guest writer
2020 has been a wild year-just about everything that has happened was completely unexpected.
One norm, though, is playoff baseball in October. The playoffs are back, but there are, of course, some oddities that come with it.
First off, a whopping 16 teams, eight from each league, get the chance to be in it. The top three from each league are the division winners, the next three are runners-up in their division, and the last two spots will go to the teams with the best records of those remaining.
All of these, of course, are seeded based on record. So, if you were rooting for a sub .500 team to go for glory (the Cincinnati Reds), I’m telling you there’s a chance.
However, that eighth team would have to go up against the best in their respective league in a best-of-three games series. To add more of a challenge, all three of those games would be played in the one seed’s ballpark.
The second round will be a best of five, and the league championship and World Series will be a best of seven.
Sounds normal-ish I guess right? Well, input Petco Park and Global Life Field.
Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, will host the ALCS Championship, and Global Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, will be the host of the NLCS and the World Series.
These measures were put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and create a bubble for MLB’s biggest stage.
It is also worth noting the significance of two rules that were added temporarily for this season.
The first rule is for the universal designated hitter in both the American League and the National League. Another change to the season, and possibly the most drastic, is what happens in extra innings. Extra innings will start off with no outs and a runner on second base.
This should get you all caught up for possibly the most interesting and most unique MLB playoffs in its history.