Major League Baseball is developing a bubble plan for its upcoming October playoffs. The league has allowed for travel between team locations throughout the regular season, but will change it up to maximize their changes of successfully completing the financial rewarding postseason.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is reporting MLB and the players’ union are closing in on an agreement that would set up locations throughout the southwest for the playoffs. The new playoff structure includes an opening round, then the divisional round, then the league championship series, and finally the World Series. The bubble would start in the division round.
As it currently stands, the three division winners and the team with the next-best record will each host a best-of-three series. The playoffs would then shift to the bubble. The American League would host its two division series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Petco Park in San Diego, with Petco Park hosting the ALCS. The National League would host its two division series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston, with Globe Life Field hosting the NLCS and the World Series.
There are numerous issues to sort through, but the two biggest right now are the health and safety protocols for the Texas and Southern California locations, and what kind of accommodations will be made for family members at the neutral sites.
As things currently stand, the AL opening round hosts would be the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, and Cleveland Indians. The NL opening round hosts would be the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, and San Diego Padres.