If you like last-second changes to the postseason structure, this has been the year for you. Hours before the season started, MLB announced an expanded playoff format that will see 16 teams qualify. Yesterday, the league announced another structural change:
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 bubble-like-substance playoffs (more on this in a moment) require some unpacking, so let’s unpack. The National League playoffs will take place in Texas — in Houston and Arlington for the NLDS, then Arlington for the NLCS. The American League playoffs will be their mirror in California — the ALDS will be in Los Angeles and San Diego, with the ALCS exclusively in San Diego.
It sounds weird, offhand, to have the NL playoffs in AL stadiums and vice versa. It’s a necessary step, however, to avoid creating home field advantage in a system designed to create neutral sites. Play AL games in Houston, and the Astros could find themselves…