Baseball owners, players agree to playoff bubble format

Major League Baseball has reached a pact in which teams will play the World Series and division and league championship series at neutral sites, and will have no off days in the early rounds of the playoffs.

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Sports

September 16, 2020 - 10:02 AM

A general view as the Houston Astros play against the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park Aug. 21 in San Diego. Photo by Denis Poroy / Getty Images / TNS

LOS ANGELES — During the baseball season, Dodgers players rarely stay in Los Angeles for more than 10 days at a time. If the Dodgers advance to the World Series, they could stay in Arlington, Texas, for as many as 25 consecutive days.

The postseason bubble is set, and the schedule announced Tuesday includes a major strategic wrinkle: the elimination of off days during the first three rounds of the playoffs.

The bubble plan, designed to maximize the chances of completing the playoffs during a pandemic, requires no travel during a series. The elimination of travel days in every round but the World Series puts an emphasis on pitching depth and all but kills the chance of a team imitating what the Washington Nationals did to win last year’s National League championship series, when six pitchers combined to work 33 of the 36 innings.

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