Sports

MLB announces schedule, bubble sites for expanded playoffs

Sept. 15 (UPI) — Major League Baseball on Tuesday revealed its schedule and bubble sites for the 2020 postseason, which will feature the first World Series held at a neutral location in modern history.

The best-of-five Division Series, best-of-seven League Championship Series and World Series all will be part of MLB’s bubble plan, which was designed to minimize exposure to the coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic limited the league’s regular season to 60 games for each club, and it has caused 45 postponements so far in the 2020 campaign.

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“The agreement attempts to balance players’ experiences and concerns while making the accommodations necessary to best ensure a safe, healthy and successful conclusion to the 2020 season,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement Tuesday.

The Texas Rangers‘ Globe Life Field will host the Fall Classic, set to begin Oct. 20 with a possible Game 7 scheduled for Oct. 28. The brand-new ballpark — located in Arlington, Texas, also will host the National League Championship Series, while the American League Championship Series will take place at the San Diego Padres‘ Petco Park.

This will be the first World Series played entirely at one location since 1944, when the Cardinals beat the Browns in six games at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. Both teams shared that stadium.

The National League Division Series — scheduled for Oct. 6-10 — will take place in Arlington and at the Houston Astros‘ Minute Maid Park. The ALDS will be played at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The wild-card rounds — set to begin Sept. 29 — will happen in the higher seeds’ home ballparks. The final eight clubs will shift to the bubble environments in Texas and California.

MLB hasn’t made any decisions on whether spectators will be allowed to attend postseason games. The league said it hopes to have about 25% capacity for playoff games at Arlington, where total capacity is about 40,000.

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Chicago White Sox players celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Twins 3-1 in Chicago on Monday. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

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