Major League baseball postseason dates were announced, and the schedule is now set for the October playoffs. The biggest news is that if the World Series goes a full seven games, a few will take place in November. The 2016 season started on April 3. The final games of the regular season will take place on October 2. The latest date for this baseball postseason is November 2, reports Baseball America. That date is not the latest a Major League baseball game has been played. In 2001 and 2009, the season wrapped up on November 4.
Ten teams will make it to the playoffs. In the event of season-ending ties, one more game would be added to the schedule as a tiebreaker. The postseason officially begins on October 4 with the American League Wild Card game. The National League game happens the next day. The Wild Card games are one game playoffs with the winners going on to the Divisional series. That series has a best-three-out-of-five format. The victors go on to play in the American and National League Championship Series, which is a four-out-of-seven system. The winning cities from each League will play each other for the top prize in the World Series, which is also a best-of-seven format. The American League winner will host the World Series this year because the AL won the 2016 All-Star Game. A team can potentially play up to 20 postseason games if they are forced to go the full length of each series.
The broadcasters for the baseball playoffs have also been set. Playoff games will be divided between TBS, ESPN, and Fox Sports. The World Series will be exclusive to Fox this year.
The Major League Baseball Postseason is the culmination of a grueling 162 game regular season. The top team in each of the six divisions make it into the divisional playoff series. Four other teams that don’t win their division can qualify for the one-game Wild Card playoff.
2016 has some potentially exciting pennant races developing. In the National League, bitter rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants are just one game apart for the West division title. The Washington Nationals are ahead in the East, while the Chicago Cubs are running away in the Central division. Meanwhile, in the American League East, the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox are in a virtual tie for first place, while the Baltimore Orioles are just two games back. Cleveland leads the AL central and Texas is on top in the West.
The Chicago Cubs season is creating much fan interest. The unlikely Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. Currently, with the best record in Major League Baseball and the longest suffering fans, the Cubs are early favorites. They have the best odds to win this year, according to ESPN. Cleveland, Washington, and San Francisco are considered the runner-up favorites to win.
There are individual races to the finish as well. Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion are battling for the lead in home runs. Nolan Arenado and Edwin Encarnacion already have over 100 runs batted in, and David Ortiz is just behind them in his final year. Two pitchers are currently tied for most wins, J.A. Happ and Rick Porcello with 17 each. Kyle Hendricks has the lowest era in baseball at a stellar 2.16.
Major Leauge Baseball contending teams are trying to finish the season strong. The focus is on keeping players healthy and ready for baseball in October. There is also a focus on keeping teams from getting too tired, especially pitchers. August and September are typically grueling months and arms can wear out quickly. In the postseason, there are more off days for teams to rest as they travel between cities.
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