The 2020 Major League Baseball season has not been a smooth river. At one point, it was even thought that it could not be completed due to the pandemic raging in the United States. The situation has stabilized and fans will now be eligible for the playoffs starting Tuesday.
For this campaign which will mark the annals of this sport, the series will be presented under a new formula to determine the champions.
Before the arrival of the pandemic, major league baseball had decided to increase the number of playoff teams. For the 2020 and 2021 seasons, it had to go from 8 to 10.
For this shortened season, the leaders and the Players' Association have decided to accept a total of 16 teams in the race for top honors.
The top two teams from each division in each league got their passes. Then, the two teams with the best record among the others received the same privilege.
The first round will be a 2 of 3 while the second round will be a 3 of 5. Thereafter, the best-of-seven formula will be used until the end of the heats.
During the first few weeks of the calendar, major league baseball was sharply criticized for its handling of the pandemic. It should be mentioned that the formations traveled across the United States as was their custom.
The players did not hesitate to go to restaurants or bars to party. Outbreaks among the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals put the 2020 season in jeopardy. However, the teams took the bull by the horns. Subsequently, the situation was better controlled.
What to expect for the playoffs? In the first round, the eight teams with the best regular season records will host all three games.
Thereafter, the teams will be confined to bubble cities for the last three rounds of the playoffs. In the first two rounds, the cities of Arlington, Houston, Los Angeles and San Diego were selected.
The finals for both leagues will take place in San Diego and Arlington. Then, the World Series will be presented at Globen Life Park in Arlington.
Major League Baseball seems to have learned from its mistakes. The teams participating in the playoffs have been in confinement since last week.
The players were not allowed to go outside except to go to the stadium for their games. Whether they are abroad or at home.
The 2020 series in brief …
- 16 participating teams
- 4 bubble cities for the last three rounds (Los Angeles, San Diego, Arlington, Houston)
- First round: Round 2 of 3
- Second round: Series 3 of 5
- Championship and World Series Finals: Series of 4 of 7
- World Series presented in Arlington
Players to watch
He will have to be a mainstay in the rotation to give the Rays a chance to take top honors.
It will be interesting to see how he responds in the playoffs. However, he will not be able to do everything.
The Twins want his excellent season to translate into the playoffs.
If he is equal to himself, the Indians could come a long way.
With the absence of Matt Chapman, he will have to take the extra mile.
With the departure of Gerrit Cole and the injury to Justin Verlander, he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
The southpaw has made a comeback this season. If he's at the top of his game, the White Sox will be dangerous.
Last year he was smoking with the Astros in the playoffs. Will he be able to repeat his exploits with the Yankees?
He's the key player for the Dodgers if they want to grab it all. It is not for nothing that the Californian formation paid a high price to go and get him in Boston.
He is capable of carrying the team on his back, but he will be eagerly awaited by the Dodgers pitchers.
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His health could be a big factor in the series against the Reds. If he's comfortable at bat, he could wreak havoc.
The flamboyant pitcher will try to forget his past performance in the playoffs.
He will need to set the tone with a good performance to move the Cubs to the next round.
One of the pillars of the Marlins' attack. His contribution is crucial for the performance of his team.
The $ 300 million man will have to be a leader if the Padres are to go far in the playoffs.
He is the cornerstone of the Cards, who could play the spoilsport in the playoffs.