Major League Baseball has decided on which four ballparks will host League Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series game during its planned postseason bubble, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Friday.
The American League bubble will be set up in Southern California, with Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles hosting one ALDS and Petco Park in San Diego hosting the other ALDS and the entire. ALCS. The National League bubble will be held in Texas, with Minute Maid Park in Houston hosting one NLDS and Globe Life Field in Arlington hosting the other NLDS and the entire NLCS.
As for the World Series, that would also be played exclusively at Globe Life Field.
The newly added first round, which will feature eight best of three series, will be played at the home ballpark of the one through four seeds in each league. For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are on pace to be the National League’s No. 1 seed, would host the No. 8 seed at Dodger Stadium for the entire first-round series. The winning team would advance to the bubble.
MLB’s overall goal is to limit travel and keep players in close quarters to help prevent a team-wide outbreak like we’ve seen with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. For all of the obvious reasons, the league cannot afford a team being forced to shut down during a playoff series.
In the league’s proposed postseason bubble format, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Houston Astros would flip states for the LDS and LCS. The reason why is simple: MLB wants to remove any potential advantages within the postseason bubble.
Obviously, playing an entire series at Dodger Stadium would be beneficial to the Dodgers, regardless of whether they are the “visiting” or “home” team. In this format, the Dodgers will still be the home team more often than not, but the only real advantage will be having the last at-bat.
Some fans might not like or agree with the true home-field element being removed from the postseason, but it makes sense given the circumstances.
First and foremost, the league’s goal is to complete the postseason without any health or safety issues. Beyond that, it’s already a shortened season with a first-time — and perhaps only time — postseason format. Every aspect of the season is different. Making the postseason format unique to this season is just another difference that’s also the best and safest way to determine a champion.
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