Major League Baseball’s new playoff format will debut with four wild-card games on Oct. 7, the league announced Monday, while a potential Game 7 of the World Series is set to take place Nov. 5.
Both American League and National League division series will begin Oct. 11, while the NL Championship Series will start Oct. 18 and the ALCS one day later. The 2022 World Series is set to start Oct. 28.
If the World Series goes the distance, it would be the latest game ever played in an MLB season. The 2001 and 2009 World Series both ended on Nov. 4.
The longer season was due to the owners’ lockout that pushed the start of the regular season back a week. Instead of canceling a week’s worth of games, the early missed games have been squeezed into a slightly extended regular season, while teams also are playing some scheduled doubleheaders.
A third wild-card team will be added to the postseason this year, bringing the total of playoff-bound teams to 12. The one-game, winner-take-all wild-card game that was used in nine of the past 10 seasons will be replaced by four three-game wild-card series, two in each league.
Also new to the playoffs is a wild-card round bye for the top two teams in each league. The third-best division winner and the three wild-card teams will compete in the wild-card round.
All games in each best-of-three wild-card series will be played at the stadium of the higher seed.
The late end to the postseason has the potential to bring frigid temperatures into the mix. Teams in outdoor stadiums like the New York Yankees, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are all potentially playoff-bound.
–Field Level Media