Major League Baseball Plans Playoff Bubbles in California, Texas

Tanya Simon
September 14, 2020

Major League Baseball is considering some sort of bubble and/or neutral-site system in the playoffs to avoid any potential COVID-19 issues.

As it stands, the three division winners and the team with the next-best record in each league will indeed host the opening-round, three-game series at their own ballpark. The current proposal would also see the World Series played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Texas was chosen to host the World Series and other rounds in part because of its central time zone - something that could help maximize ratings.

In all, more than 40 games in this shortened season have been postponed because of outbreaks of the coronavirus, largely among members of the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins, both of which now sit in playoff position.

The playoffs would start with two bubbles, one for each league.

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The Health Ministry said it has the right, according to the situation, to impose certain precautionary measures. The kingdom would allow people to leave and return via land, sea and air routes, the Arab News reported.

"The postseason's a little bit different than the regular season in that it's not really feasible to have long interruptions of play", Cubs president Theo Epstein said on Thursday.

The AL's first-round would run September 29-Oct.

According to the report, the best-of-three wild-card matchups will be played in the home ballparks of the higher-seeded teams. While the league is still working out details of the plan with the players' union, the concept and location of postseason bubbles have been decided.

Dodger Stadium and Petco Park, home of the Dodgers and Padres, would host the ALDS, the latter hosting the ALCS.

In the agreement with the union regarding the health and safety protocols for the 2020 season, Major League Baseball retains the right to institute additional measures for the postseason - with the union's consent. Safeguards may include having playoff-bound players and staff stay in a hotel at some point the final week of the regular season to reduce the risk.

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