2020 MLB Playoffs: Key dates, locations & viewing information
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball has had to get creative in order to crown a champion in 2020. With an unprecedented 60-game regular season winding down on Sunday, now is a good time to review what bettors and fans can expect during the 2020 MLB Playoffs.
When will the MLB Playoffs take place?
The first postseason baseball games of 2020 will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29. All first-round matchups will be held exclusively at the higher seeded team’s home ballpark, with no fans allowed on the premises. The World Series is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28.
2020 MLB Playoffs Schedule
Wild Card series begin
League Division Series begin
League Championship Series begins
World Series begins
How many teams will participate in the MLB Playoffs?
In the interest of fairness, considering the smaller-than-usual sample size of the 60-game regular season, the MLB will invite 16 teams to compete in the playoffs – eight from each league. This is in stark contrast to the 10 teams – or five from each league – that have been allowed to compete in the postseason over the last seven years.
The top two teams from each division will gain automatic entry to the playoffs. There will also be two Wild Card teams from each league, regardless of division, filling out the final two spots on each side of the postseason bracket.
Each Wild Card round series will be a best-of-three, with no off-days in-between. From here on, the playoff format adheres more closely to tradition. The surviving eight teams from the Wild Card round will play in best-of-five Divisional Series. The winners of those respective series will face off in the appropriate best-of-seven Championship Series, and the last two teams left standing will go toe-to-toe in a best-of-seven World Series.
The fundamental difference, once the Wild Card round is over, is that the remaining postseason games will be played at neutral sites. Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles will host the American League postseason games, while Minute Maid Park in Houston and Globe Life Field in Arlington will host the National League postseason games. The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field.
2020 MLB Playoffs Venues
ALDS Series A
ALDS Series B
NLDS Series A
NLDS Series B
How can I bet on the MLB Playoffs?
BetAmerica will offer odds on every MLB playoff game, just like during the regular season. There will be moneylines, run lines, and totals to consider, as well as an enticing array of player props.
Which team is favored to win the World Series?
Bettors should know that the Los Angeles Dodgers (38-16) are widely considered the best team in baseball in 2020. As of Monday morning, they are one of only six teams who are at least 10 games above .500, along with the San Diego Padres (34-20), Tampa Bay Rays (35-19), Chicago White Sox (34-19), Minnesota Twins (33-22), and Oakland Athletics (33-20).
How can I watch the MLB Playoffs?
All Wild Card round games will be broadcast on either ESPN or TBS. With as many as eight games taking place on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, bettors and fans should expect start times to be staggered March Madness-style.
When the Divisional Series begin (currently scheduled for Oct. 5), FS1 and MLB Network will pick up two series, with TBS broadcasting the other two. TBS will also show the ALCS, slated to begin on Oct. 11, while FOX and FS1 will have coverage of the NLCS, which should begin on Oct. 12.
The World Series will be broadcast exclusively on FOX for the 21st consecutive year.