October madness? Here’s how MLB’s wild postseason will work
SportsPulse: 16 teams will play in this year’s unprecedented MLB postseason. Mackenzie Salmon explains how the format, the bubbles and everything in between will work this October.
Major League Baseball’s expanded 16-team postseason begins Tuesday afternoon featuring Game 1 of all four American League Wild Card series.
The best-of-three series are being played at the home ballparks of the higher-ranked teams with the winners advancing to the traditional best-of-five Division Series.
Things get underway at 2 p.m. ET with the Minnesota Twins hosting the Houston Astros, followed by the Chicago White Sox visiting the Oakland Athletics at 3 p.m., Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Rays at 5 p.m. and the Cleveland Indians hosting the New York Yankees at 7 p.m.
Keep it here all day for live updates and highlights from around the league:
Entering Tuesday, the Twins had lost 16 consecutive postseason games dating back to 2004, the longest streak in baseball history. Thirteen of those losses came at the hands of the Yankees, most recently a sweep in the 2019 ALDS. The streak includes those three games, the 2017 AL wild-card game against the Yankees, sweeps in the 2009 and 2010 ALDS vs. the Yankees, a sweep in the 2006 ALDS vs. the Athletics and the final three games of the 2004 ALDS vs. the Yankees.
– Jesse Yomtov
Former AL MVP Josh Donaldson was left off the Twins’ 28-man roster for their Wild Card series against the Astros due to a calf injury. Minnesota signed Donaldson to a four-year, $92 million contract in the offseason but he was limited to 28 games, missing all of August with the injury and then sat out the final two games of the regular season.
Center fielder Byron Buxton, who suffered a head injury Friday, did manage to make it back and will bat second on Tuesday. Minnesota’s active roster also includes top prospect Alex Kirilloff, who could become just the third player in history to make his MLB debut in the postseason.
– Jesse Yomtov