Written by Xavier Snyder
One of the strangest and shortest seasons of the MLB has finally come to an end—just as an exciting and unique playoff season begins. After 60 games of baseball, the MLB is now starting its reformatted playoff series with a few significant changes. Unlike previous seasons’ top-five seed format, the COVID-era MLB playoffs will have the top eight teams from each division compete in a larger tournament bracket.
Another notable difference in the playoffs will be the inclusion of neutral sites and bubbles, similar to the pandemic-style NBA season. Teams will compete at one of a few neutral sites and will be required to stay in that bubble until their series is over—at which point they will travel to yet another bubble and continue to play. Less travel between cities means that MLB playoff games are expected to take place every day.
The AL is currently led by the Tampa Bay Rays with the no. 1 seed, followed by the Twins, Athletics and Indians in the top half. In the NL, the division is led by the Dodgers, followed by the Braves, Cubs and Padres. Both the AL and NL have one team with a losing record as their eighth seeds—the Astros and Brewers, respectively.
The Wild Card series starts Sept. 29 in the shorter three game series. Most of the series in this year’s playoffs are expected to be great matchups. It will be entertaining to see if the White Sox can shake off their recent losing streak and pull off two wins against the Athletics. In the NL, baseball fans might also enjoy watching the Marlins and Cubs battle it out to the best of three. All in all, the MLB has an amazing postseason ahead of us.