While I’m not sure the expanded playoff format MLB has adopted for this 2020 season is viable long-term, there’s one particular aspect of it that has me vexed.
The Cincinnati Reds are 3 games under .500 with just 11 games left on their schedule, are sending a reliever to the mound to start in place of an injured one-time Cy Young Award contender, and I am completely excited on every possible level to watch it happen. Despite underperforming in almost every way for the bulk of their season, the Reds sit just a game and a half back from a playoff spot, and as we all know well, the playoffs are a virtual crapshoot once you sneak on in.
This year, said crapshoot will be even more chaotic, as there won’t be many, if any, fans there to create advantage for ‘home’ teams, and as we learned officially today, there won’t even be many friendly confines to create advantage, either. As MLB itself relayed, the MLB postseason bracket will feature ‘bubble’ sites for both the American League and National League, with a World Series to take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
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 first round of games will present the lone chance for home field advantage, as they will be played in the home park of the higher seed, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. After that, the AL will head to NL parks in Southern California for ALDS and ALCS games, while the NL will ply a similar path in parks in the Houston and Dallas metros of Texas.
The World Series will follow in Arlington, TX, at the new home stadium of the Texas Rangers.
That’s right. With absolutely every single option on the table to be the neutral site for the World Series, MLB picked this place:
2020, man. At least there’s still the slightest hope the Reds can make it to that big ol’ BBQ bin in Texas.