Not long ago we learned that MLB was reportedly planning to operate two separate bubbles for the latter rounds of the 16-team 2020 postseason. Now ESPN’s Jeff Passan expands upon Ken Rosenthal’s original report and named specific locations.
According to Passan, here are those bubble locations for the expanded playoffs:
- NLDS: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston
- ALDS: Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
- NLCS: Globe Life Field
- ALCS: Petco Park
- World Series: Globe Life Field
As expected, the World Series will be held in the Rangers’ new ballpark, and the bubbles are such that no team will play at home after the first round. In the best-of-three wild card round, the higher seed will host all games at its home ballpark. Passan’s story also includes the tentative start dates for those latter-round series.
The plan is still subject to approval by the players association, and there will be negotiations on how to strike a balance between protocols designed to limit the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak and players’ desire for some sense of normality in the bubble.
During the regular season thus far, numerous games have been postponed because of one or more positive COVID-19 tests on four separate teams. The nightmare scenario for MLB is a COVID cluster during the playoffs. The bubble plan — despite the logistical challenges and inconveniences — is of course designed to limit that risk and allow a conclusion to the 2020 season.