The Oakland A’s completed their season series with the Texas Rangers last weekend, but there’s still a chance they could make another trip to Arlington in 2020. If they do visit again, though, it will be to play in the World Series.
The 2020 MLB postseason schedule was officially announced Tuesday, including dates and locations for all four rounds of the expanded playoff format. Much of this information was already available in piecemeal form, or teased via rumors, but now it’s all written down for real in permanent ink.
The postseason begins on Tue., Sept. 29, with the AL Wild Card Round, containing eight teams in four separate series. The next day, the NL Wild Card Round gets going. The LDS round opens Oct. 5/6, the LCS semifinals start Oct. 11/12, and the World Series arrives Tue., Oct. 20 and lasts no later than Oct. 28.
Most of the tournament will be held within a handful of bubble locations. The Wild Card Round will be played at the home parks of the higher-seeded teams, giving them an advantage in all three games of those short series. Beginning with the LDS round, they’ll shift to neutral sites, in either Southern California or Texas.
The schedule is set up so that nobody will be playing at or near their homes when they’re supposed to be at neutral ground. The whole AL playoffs are in SoCal, and we already know the Angels won’t be a part of it, while the NL section is happening in Texas, a state home only to two AL clubs.
If the A’s hold on to win the AL West, and then win their Wild Card Round matchup, then they’ll go to either Los Angeles or San Diego for the ALDS. The exact location depends on their precise seeding, but it also won’t make much difference either way between the two possible venues. The ALCS is in San Diego as well.
Finally, the World Series will be in Arlington at the brand-new Globe Life Field. The Rangers are already locks to not make it, but of course there’s still a chance the Houston Astros could sneak their way back to the Fall Classic, and if they did then they’d have a massive bonus by hosting in their home state. That should go over well with everyone.
Here’s the full bracket:
As for the day-by-day schedule, one wrinkle to notice is the lack of off-days. Usually the postseason includes ample rest and travel time, even more than in the regular season, but this year each series plays all the way through on consecutive days — except the World Series, which maintains its normal spacing between Games 2/3 and 5/6.
The lack of travel will help offset this change, but it could still affect how teams strategize in October. For example, relievers won’t get the benefit of extra rest and so clubs can’t shift workloads too far toward their bullpens as we sometimes see in the playoffs.
Here’s the full daily schedule:
Wild Card Round schedule
|AL Wild Card||NL Wild Card|
|1||Tue 9/29||ESPN/TBS||1||Wed 9/30||ESPN|
|2||Wed 9/30||ESPN/TBS||2||Thu 10/1||ESPN|
|3*||Thu 10/1||ESPN/TBS||3*||Fri 10/2||ESPN|
Wild Card locations: Home parks of higher seeds
|1||Mon 10/5||TBS||1||Tue 10/6||FS1/MLBN|
|2||Tue 10/6||TBS||2||Wed 10/7||FS1/MLBN|
|3||Wed 10/7||TBS||3||Thu 10/8||FS1/MLBN|
|4*||Thu 10/8||TBS||4*||Fri 10/9||FS1|
|5*||Fri 10/9||TBS||5*||Sat 10/10||FS1|
ALDS locations: Dodger Stadium & Petco Park
NLDS locations: Globe Life Field & Minute Maid Park
|1||Sun 10/11||TBS||1||Mon 10/12||Fox/FS1|
|2||Mon 10/12||TBS||2||Tue 10/13||Fox/FS1|
|3||Tue 10/13||TBS||3||Wed 10/14||Fox/FS1|
|4||Wed 10/14||TBS||4||Thu 10/15||Fox/FS1|
|5*||Thu 10/15||TBS||5*||Fri 10/16||Fox/FS1|
|6*||Fri 10/16||TBS||6*||Sat 10/17||Fox/FS1|
|7*||Sat 10/17||TBS||7*||Sun 10/18||Fox/FS1|
ALCS location: Petco Park
NLCS location: Globe Life Field
World Series schedule
Word Series location: Globe Life Field