clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2020 MLB Playoffs Primer: Everything you need to know

The playoffs are upon us. Here is a rundown on all of the information you need.

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We have officially made it to postseason baseball. It was certainly an open question as to whether or not we would ever make it this far with the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the league’s operation and forcing MLB to have an abbreviated 60 game season. While there were certainly some hiccups along the way, looking at you...Marlins and Cardinals, the 2020 season was completed and now we have some postseason baseball to talk about.

There are a few important changes that have been implemented for the 2020 playoffs.

  • Instead of the normal five teams from each league making the playoffs including the participants in the one game Wild Card deathmatch, the playoffs were expanded to include eight teams from each league which included the top two finishers in each division and then the two teams with the best record of the rest of the teams.
  • The league has also instituted a playoff ‘bubble’ for participating teams who make it past the opening round. While the first round of games will be taking place in the higher seeds’ home ballparks, from the next round on....all National League playoff games will be taking place in Texas (either Arlington or Houston) or California (either San Diego or Los Angeles). The World Series will take place in Arlington, TX at Globe Life Field.

The Playoff Field

The participants in the American League side of the bracket were locked in going into the last day of the season, the field was far certain on the National League side where the Brewers punched their tickets to the postseason on the season’s final day and the field’s seedings were also decided as seeds 5-8 had a lot of different potential outcomes including the St. Louis Cardinals potentially having to play a doubleheader today to decide their fate. Fortunately, that did not come to pass, but that also meant that the Giants and Phillies were eliminated on the last day of the season.

Below you will find the 2020 MLB playoffs matchups for the opening round.

American League

1 - Rays vs. 8 - Blue Jays

2 - Athletics vs. 7 - White Sox

3 - Twins vs. 6 - Astros

4 - Indians vs. 5 - Yankees

National League

1 - Dodgers vs. 8 - Brewers

2 - Braves vs. 7 - Reds

3 - Cubs vs. 6 - Marlins

4 - Padres vs. 5 - Cardinals

In both leagues, the higher seeded team will play host to the three game series that will decide who will advance to the next round. The winners of the 1 vs. 8 matchups will play the winners of the 4 vs. 5 matchups and the winners of the 2 vs. 7 matchups will play the winners of the 3 vs. 6 matchups.

Schedule

The opening round of the playoffs is a VERY crowded schedule of games that also has to compete for TV slots with the ongoing NBA playoffs. As a result, we have a very busy schedule of games this coming week. As of this writing, only the times for the opening round of games have been announced.

Wild Card Series

Tuesday, Sept. 29

Astros at Twins, 2 PM EST, ABC

White Sox at Athletics, 3 PM EST, ESPN

Blue Jays at Rays, 5 PM EST, TBS

Yankees at Cleveland, 7 PM EST, ESPN

Wednesday, Sept. 30

Reds at Braves, 12 PM EST, ESPN

Astros at Twins, 1 PM EST, ESPN2

Marlins at Cubs, 2 PM EST, ABC

White Sox at Athletics, 3 PM EST, ESPN

Blue Jays at Rays, 4 PM EST, TBS

Cardinals at Padres, 5 PM EST, ESPN2

Yankees at Cleveland, 7 PM EST, ESPN

Brewers at Dodgers, 10 PM EST, ESPN

Thursday, Oct. 1

Brewers at Dodgers, time TBD, ESPN

Reds at Braves, time TBD, ESPN

Yankees at Cleveland (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN

Astros at Twins (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN

White Sox at Athletics (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN

Blue Jays at Rays (if necessary), time TBD, TBS

Cardinals at Padres, time TBD, ESPN

Marlins at Cubs, time TBD, ESPN

Friday, Oct. 2

Reds at Braves (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN or TBS

Marlins at Cubs (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN or TBS

Brewers at Dodgers (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN or TBS

Cardinals at Padres (if necessary), time TBD, ESPN or TBS

Division Series

Monday, Oct. 5

AL Division Series A Game 1, San Diego, (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) TBS

AL Division Series B Game 1, Los Angeles (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) TBS

Tuesday, Oct. 6

AL Division Series A Game 2, San Diego, (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) TBS

AL Division Series B Game 2, Los Angeles (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) TBS

NL Division Series A Game 1, Arlington (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) FS1 or MLBN

NL Division Series B Game 1, Houston (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) FS1 or MLBN

Wednesday, Oct. 7

AL Division Series A Game 3, San Diego, (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) TBS

AL Division Series B Game 3, Los Angeles (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) TBS

NL Division Series A Game 2, Arlington (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) FS1 or MLBN

NL Division Series B Game 2, Houston (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) FS1 or MLBN

Thursday, Oct. 8

AL Division Series A Game 4, San Diego, (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) TBS (if necessary)

AL Division Series B Game 4, Los Angeles (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) TBS (if necessary)

NL Division Series A Game 3, Arlington (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) FS1 or MLBN

NL Division Series B Game 3, Houston (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) FS1 or MLBN

Friday, Oct. 9

AL Division Series A Game 5, San Diego, (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) TBS (if necessary)

AL Division Series B Game 5, Los Angeles (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) TBS (if necessary)

NL Division Series A Game 4, Arlington (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) FS1 (if necessary)

NL Division Series B Game 4, Houston (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) FS1 (if necessary)

Saturday, Oct. 10

NL Division Series A Game 5, Arlington (4/5 vs. 1/8 winners) FS1 (if necessary)

NL Division Series B Game 5, Houston (3/6 vs. 2/7 winners) FS1 (if necessary)

League Championship Series

Sunday, Oct. 11

ALCS Game 1, San Diego, TBS

Monday, Oct. 12

ALCS Game 2, San Diego, TBS

NLCS Game 1, Arlington, Fox or FS1

Tuesday, Oct. 13

ALCS Game 3, San Diego, TBS

NLCS Game 2, Arlington, Fox or FS1

Wednesday, Oct. 14

ALCS Game 4, San Diego, TBS

NLCS Game 3, Arlington, Fox or FS1

Thursday, Oct. 15

ALCS Game 5, San Diego, TBS (if necessary)

NLCS Game 4, Arlington, Fox or FS1

Friday, Oct. 16

ALCS Game 6, San Diego, TBS (if necessary)

NLCS Game 5, Arlington, Fox or FS1 (if necessary)

Saturday, Oct. 17

ALCS Game 7, San Diego, TBS (if necessary)

NLCS Game 6, Arlington, Fox or FS1 (if necessary)

Sunday, Oct. 18

NLCS Game 7, Arlington, Fox or FS1 (if necessary)

World Series

Tuesday, Oct. 20, Game 1

Wednesday, Oct. 21, Game 2

Friday, Oct. 23, Game 3

Saturday, Oct. 24, Game 4

Sunday, Oct. 25, Game 5 (if necessary)

Tuesday, Oct. 27, Game 6 (if necessary)

Wednesday, Oct. 28, Game 7 (if necessary)