After a rough start to its abbreviated 60-game season, Major League Baseball may be considering implementing a bubble to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during its postseason play.
Following the coronavirus outbreaks on the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins, ESPN is reporting that preliminary talks have begun on trying to replicate the type of isolated play that the NBA has assumed at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
The MLB has expanded its playoffs to 16 teams, which would require at least three hubs to complete its wild-card round before shrinking to a two-hub format for the divisional series.
ESPN postulates that Southern California, Chicago and New York would make the most sense as hubs due to the number of available stadiums in those areas.
Imagining a hypothetical postseason MLB bubble, ESPN has it looking something like the following:
- The three-game National League wild-card round, played in three days, would stage the No. 1 seed vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7 and No. 3 vs. No. 6 at Dodger Stadium. The same American League seeds would play at Angel Stadium, about 30 miles southeast in Anaheim. The Nos. 4 and 5 seeds in both leagues would face off at Petco Park in San Diego.
- The NL Division Series would hold two games per day at Dodger Stadium and the ALDS two games per day at Angel Stadium.
- The NLCS would be held at Dodger Stadium and the ALCS at Angel Stadium, or both would be played at a single site.
- The World Series would be held at a single site or perhaps both.