In ’20 Series, seeding matters
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.
The Nationals celebrate after winning Game 7 of last year’s World Series in Houston.