The Futures Game has featured the top prospects in the world going head-to-head. It’s not been really widely viewed, however, as it is usually played on the Sunday afternoon before the All-Star break when literally all 30 MLB teams are playing. Prospects are fun, but hardly anyone is going to choose to watch a prospects all-star game over a big league game that counts.
For years I and others have advocated moving the game to Monday and pushing the rest of the All-Star festivities back a day, but no one in charge is all that interested. This year, though, they’ve at least made a slight improvement: they’re moving the game to Sunday evening at 7PM, around the time the west coast games end. It’ll be broadcast live on MLB Network.
But what MLB giveth, MLB taketh away: they’re reducing the length of the game from nine to seven innings. Which, OK, exhibition, fine. Maybe if they ditched the celebrity softball game everyone cares about even less they’d have room for a full game, but I’m out of the business of putting suggestions in the league’s All-Star break suggestion box now that I got at least something from ’em.
There will be one other change too: for the past 19 years of the 20-year history of the Futures Game it has featured prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. This year they’re going back to the format from the first Futures Game and are making it National League vs. American League prospects. That’s probably good to change up, frankly. They should make the MLB All-Star Game change formats like that from time to time, too. Especially now that interleague play has rendered AL vs. NL nothing special.
After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.
Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?
There have been no spectators at any games this season but fans will finally have the opportunity to go to the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas–one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year. The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game.
Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.
MLB Playoffs Format
Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2
All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.
No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees
No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals
Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10
The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.
League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18
The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28
The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.
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