In ’20 Se­ries, seed­ing mat­ters

Daily Press - - Baseball - By Ron­ald Blum

NEW YORK — The higher seeded team reach­ing the World Se­ries will have last at-bats in Games 1 and 2 and if needed Games 6 and 7, not nec­es­sar­ily the team with the best record.

The spec­i­fi­ca­tion was con­tained in the July 23 agree­ment be­tween Ma­jor League Base­ball and the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion to ex­pand the play­offs fol­low­ing a reg­u­lar sea­son short­ened due to the novel coro­n­avirus.

This year’s change means a No. 1 seed from one league with fewer reg­u­lar-sea­son wins than a lower seed from the other league would have the “home-field ad­van­tage” for the World Se­ries should they both win pen­nants. In the event both pen­nant win­ners have the same seed, reg­u­lar-sea­son win­ning per­cent­age would de­cide which team is “home” for the first two games.

All World Se­ries games will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the new park of the out-of­con­tention Rangers.

Home-field ad­van­tage in the World Se­ries gen­er­ally ro­tated be­tween the leagues through 2002. At the be­hest of then-Com­mis­sioner Bud Selig and Fox, home-field ad­van­tage went to the All-Star Game win­ner from 2003-16. Home-field for Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 was based on win­ning per­cent­age from 2017-19.

The League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries and Di­vi­sion Se­ries also will be played at neu­tral sites this year. The ALCS will be in San Diego and the NLCS in Arlington, while the ALDS will be in Los Angeles and San Diego and the NLDS in Hous­ton and Arlington.

MATT SLOCUM/AP

The Na­tion­als cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning Game 7 of last year’s World Se­ries in Hous­ton.

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