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Dodgers could get postseason home games, then a bubble

A view of a game being played at Dodger Stadium with cardboard cutouts in some seats.
The Dodgers will likely host games in the first round of the MLB playoffs before their stadium is turned over to the American League for the remainder of the playoffs, according to a plan being finalized by the league.
(Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

The Dodgers have not opened the postseason away from Dodger Stadium since 2016. They are expected to stay home again to start this postseason, even as Major League Baseball prepares to conduct the final three rounds of the playoffs in a bubble format.

The league is finalizing a postseason format in which teams would not move into the bubble until after the first round, two people familiar with the discussions told The Times. That would enable the Dodgers to start the playoffs with a best-of-three series at Dodger Stadium.

If the Dodgers win, they would fly to Texas, while the American League playoffs take over Dodger Stadium. The World Series would be played at the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Although the plans are not final, the people said discussions were more focused on the health and safety protocols for the proposed bubbles than on where they would be located. The bubble format would minimize the chance of a coronavirus outbreak like the ones that shut down the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals for more than a week, with the Oakland Athletics and New York Mets shut down for several days to ensure a positive test did not signal an outbreak. In the playoffs, an extended shutdown would mean disqualifying a team or delaying the entire postseason schedule.

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For this season, MLB has expanded the playoffs to 16 teams, with a best-of-three series played entirely at the home field of the higher seed. If the playoffs had started Wednesday, the Dodgers would play a best-of-three series against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

The four National League teams that advance would gather in Texas for the NL division series and championship series, with games at the homes of the Rangers and Houston Astros.

The four AL teams that advance would gather in Southern California for the AL division series and championship series, with games most likely played at Dodger Stadium and San Diego’s Petco Park.


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