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Sport MLB's expanded playoff field is set. A quick look at all 8 wild-card series matchups

03:10  28 september  2020
03:10  28 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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All Wild Card Series games (Sept. 29-Oct. 2) will take place in the home ballpark of the higher seed and will air on ESPN and TBS. No additional games will be played to break any ties. With an expanded postseason field , there is less incentive to play additional games, and this method allows

MLB is implementing an expanded 16-team playoff format for the 2020 postseason. The top two teams in each division, plus the two remaining In the AL and NL Division Series , the winner of the 1- 8 first-round matchup will face the winner of the 4-5 series , with the 2-7 winner meeting the 3-6 winner.

As Major League Baseball’s shortest season ever came to a close Sunday evening, the largest postseason field in its history finally came into focus.

Even if one club had to experience the joy via the magic of television.

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The Dodgers will now look to make it eight straight division championships as well. Wednesday’s win gives them a 3.5-game lead with 10 games left to play . Sports The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first team to punch their ticket to MLB ' s expanded 2020 postseason. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images).

The inaugural Wild Card Series are set to begin in the American League on Tuesday, Sept. In the AL, the winner of the 1 vs. 8 matchup will face the 4 vs. 5 winner at Petco Park in San Diego, while the winners of the 2 vs. 7 and 3 vs. 6 matchups will square off at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The St. Louis Cardinals cleared up a ton of ambiguity by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 to nail down second place in the NL Central with a 30-28 record.

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Why just 58 games? The Cardinals were ravaged by an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in July and August, and the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and idled sports until the summer forced St. Louis to idle their season for 16 days.

a baseball player throwing a pitch: St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader celebrates with bench coach Oliver Marmol (37) after the team defeated the Milwaukee Brewers to clinch a postseason spot. © Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader celebrates with bench coach Oliver Marmol (37) after the team defeated the Milwaukee Brewers to clinch a postseason spot.

Yet come Sunday, both clubs hit hardest by the novel coronavirus – the Cardinals and Miami Marlins, who lost 16 players just three games into their season – found themselves in MLB’s 16-team field.

MLB postseason field is set

  MLB postseason field is set It was a short and bizarre season, but the playoffs – while expanded – aren’t going to be all that different from most years. There will be neutral sites, a wild-card round of three-game series and playoff bubbles, but once the field is pared down to eight, it’s more or less business as usual for the postseason. It should be an exciting month of October.

MLB is plunging into a shortened season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Changes such as the universal designated hitter and expanded playoff format would theoretically go That agreement, however, is set to expire after 2021. At that point, anything and everything could be back on the table.

*The two wild card teams in each league will play each other in a single-elimination game at the conclusion of the regular season. The winners advance to face the No. 1 seed in the Division Series . Projected Playoff Matchups

The final ticket was punched when the San Francisco Giants lost to the San Diego Padres 5-4. That sent the Brewers – watching breathlessly on TV from the catacombs of Busch Stadium after losing to the Cardinals – into the playoffs. The Phillies, too, blew a chance to get in with a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay.

This shortened season brought truncated greatness and a fair amount of mediocrity – the Brewers and Houston Astros, both 29-31, made the playoffs with losing records, a first.

So be it.

“We can’t tell you everything we did. We probably broke a couple rules," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of their semi-socially distanced celebration in St. Louis after the Giants' loss. "We’re in. We’re in the playoffs. There’s no reason to apologize.

"We’re in and we’ve got a chance to win the World Series, still. It’s get in. The record is irrelevant."

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The seeds and division titles and all else? Settled business. And for the first time in 2020, teams will play opponents from outside their geographic region, before the winners advance to neutral-site bubbles in Los Angeles and San Diego (AL) and Houston and Arlington, Texas (NL).

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We look at who hopes to join them and more. The 2020 MLB playoffs are just over a week away, even though it seems like only yesterday that the regular season kicked off . The matchups : Here' s what the first round of the expanded playoffs would look like, based on the standings entering play

MLB Kids MLB International MLB Newsletters Virtual Backgrounds Podcasts Walk- Up Music These pitchers aced September. From the Wild Card to World Series . Last postseason win for each team. These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those

Here’s how the matchups look entering the first and perhaps last wild-card round, with four best-of-three series in each league – the AL starting Tuesday, the NL on Wednesday:

AL

No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays at No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays won six of 10 against Toronto this year and Game 1 will be a battle of talented left-handers – Hyun-Jin Ryu for the Blue Jays and Blake Snell for the Rays.

No. 5 New York Yankees at No. 4 Cleveland Indians: An ALCS-worthy matchup in this rinky-dink first round – are you ready for Gerrit Cole vs. Shane Bieber? The Yankees come in healthier and relatively upright after losing streaks of seven and five games cost them any shot at the East – and nearly dropped them to the No. 8 seed.

No. 6 Houston Astros at No. 3 Minnesota Twins: The Astros began the year in shame after their sign-stealing scandal but can still end it covered in champagne. Up first is a date with old friend Marwin Gonzalez's Twins.

No. 7 Chicago White Sox at No. 2 Oakland Athletics: The A's begin perhaps their final weeks with shortstop Marcus Semien by playing the team they acquired him from, in a December 2014 trade. Another piece in that trade: Chris Bassitt, who has been the A's best starting pitcher down the stretch.

NL

No. 8 Milwaukee Brewers at No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers: A rematch of the 2018 NLCS, though this time the Dodgers are without Ryu and will start Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw out of the gate. Game 2 will be a 2018 playoff rematch with Kershaw pitted against Brandon Woodruff, who has evolved into a dominant starter.

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In each playoff series , the team with the better record earns the right to play a decisive Game 5 (in LDS play ) or Game 7 (in LCS and World As such, the team with the best overall record in MLB gains home- field advantage throughout the postseason. For a look at the wild card standings, click here.

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No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals at No. 4 San Diego Padres: The staid and steady vs. the young and dynamic. The Padres arrived a year early behind MVP-caliber years from Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. But the health of starters Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger may determine if they get past the ever-resourceful Cardinals.

No. 6 Miami Marlins at No. 3 Chicago Cubs: A rematch of the stirring/gut-wrenching 2003 NLCS, which launched the Marlins into their second world title and the Cubs into 13 more years of misery. This is the Marlins' first playoff bid since. The Cubs, meanwhile, were the lone club not to have a player test positive for COVID-19.

No. 7 Cincinnati Reds at No. 2 Atlanta Braves: Who's the favorite in this one? The Reds will have Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray aligned and come in winners of 11 of their last 14. Atlanta, three-time NL East champions, will try to avoid a third consecutive opening-round exit, hoping Max Fried can outduel Bauer to start.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB's expanded playoff field is set. A quick look at all 8 wild-card series matchups


Gallery: Photos: Brewers 3, Cardinals 0 (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

a baseball player throwing a ball: Brandon Woodruff pitched a masterpiece for the Brewers on Saturday night, retiring 19 straight Cardinals at one point during eight shutout innings in which he allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out 10.

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In response to the growing number of positive COVID-19 tests around the league, the NFL is taking action. In a call with all 32 teams the league office laid out a slew of new policy changes, and sternly warned teams about the consequences of not following them. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports In the memo recapping the call, which you can read courtesy of this tweet from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, they laid out some new protocols.

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