We all remember the day in mid-March that the entire world seemed to stop. After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, everything shut down. The NBA and the NHL were already in the midst of their seasons and had to stop everything.
The MLB season was scheduled to begin about two weeks later! Many people were understandably panicked — not just because sports were canceled, but because their entire lives were being canceled and turned upside down. Now more than six months into all of this craziness, MLB fans are left with a lot of questions about this crazy season.
However, we have good news — the MLB season isn’t canceled although it definitely won’t look like a regular season. So what will it look like?
In 2020, “Spring Training” became “Summer Camp” as all Spring Training-related activities were canceled on March 12th. This came after many state and local authorities started to ban large gatherings over 50 people due to health concerns from the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 virus.
At that time, they were talking about a two-week delay of the regular season that was slated to begin on March 26th. However, as we all know, the “two-week shutdown” quickly turned into a “few month” shutdown for millions of Americans all over the country. Finally, “Summer Camp” started back up again almost four months later on July 1st to the excitement of MLB fans who had been wondering if a season would happen at all.
After less than a month of Summer Camp, Opening Day was held on July 23rd. However, the regular season will be a lot shorter this year with only 60 games rather than 162. In this format, each team will play 10 games against their four division opponents for a total of 40 games in three different series.
Additionally, teams will play 20 more interleague games against the division of the opposite league and their “natural rival” team. However, some of these “natural rivals” were adjusted this year in order to cut down on travel and reduce health risks for players, coaches, and staff throughout the league.
Despite these precautions and several others, there were periodic COVID-19 outbreaks within teams that caused a number of games to be delayed. As if the turbulence from COVID-19 wasn’t enough, additional games have been postponed due to player protests due to Black Lives Matter and air quality issues as a result of the rampant wildfires spreading throughout the West Coast.
As we are now nearing the end of the 2020 MLB regular season on September 27th, MLB fans keen on sports education are now wondering what the post-season will look like. No surprise here — but it’s going to be different than usual. This year only, the playoffs will contain 16 teams with eight from each league rather than the usual 10 teams.
The top two teams from each division, plus the next two best records in each league will gain entry into the playoffs. The Wild Card Series will be the best of three games, the Division Series will be the best of five games, and the League Championship Series along with the World Series will be the best of seven games. The World Series is set to begin on October 20th at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Even though MLB games do not have any live fans this season, we are still very much looking forward to the upcoming playoffs and World Series. It’s definitely something great to look forward to in a world that is still so uncertain.