And just like that, the 2020 MLB regular season has come to a close.
Just two months the abbreviated 60-game season began, easily the craziest baseball season in history, the 2020 campaign came to a close on Sunday evening and things are now set for what will undoubtedly be the wildest postseason of all time. The final postseason slots were clinched on Sunday and a record 16 teams will now battle it out over the next month to determine a World Series champion.
Let’s take a quick look at what went down on Sunday and what the 2020 MLB postseason bracket looks like.
The final day of the 2020 MLB regular season determined quite a bit
Coming into Sunday’s action, four teams in the National League were in the running for the final two postseason spots, which went to two teams that just happened to be playing one another on the season’s final day, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
With a 5-2 win, the Cardinals locked up second place in the National League Central and avoided a Monday trip to Detroit to play the Tigers, which may have been necessary had things turned out differently around the National League on Sunday. But despite playing just 58 games, the Cards are in the postseason for the second consecutive year.
With the loss, the Brewers had no control over their own destiny as they had to wait to see what happened elsewhere. But when the Phillies took themselves out of the running with a 5-0 loss to the Rays and the Padres beat the Giants, 5-4, Milwaukee snuck into the No. 8 spot in the NL bracket with a 29-31 record. As they had a better record within their division than did San Francisco, who was also 29-31, the Brewers got the final spot and will now head to LA to play the top-seeded Dodgers. The NL Central has four teams in the NL bracket, the division-winning Cubs, the Cardinals, the Reds, and the Brewers.
In the American League, all eight postseason berths had already been clinched going into Sunday but the seeding had yet to be determined due to the tight race in the AL Central. The Twins won the division with a 36-24 record with both the Indians and White Sox finishing just one game back at 35-25. As the Indians beat the White Sox in eight of their 10 meetings this year, including a four-game sweep last week, they earned the second-place berth and will be seeded fourth in the AL bracket, which means they get to host the Yankees in the first round, while the Sox are seeded seventh and will head to Oakland.
The 2020 American League playoff bracket
The first round of the American League playoffs will be played from Tuesday to Thursday with no off-days. The higher-seeded team will host all three games (if necessary) and will serve as the home team every time. Here’s a quick look at the American League bracket.
- No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays (32-28) at No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays (40-20)
- No. 5 New York Yankees (33-27) at No. 4 Cleveland Indians (35-25)
- No. 6 Houston Astros (29-31) at No. 3 Minnesota Twins (36-24)
- No. 7 Chicago White Sox (35-25) at No. 2 Oakland A’s (36-24)
The 2020 National League playoff bracket
As for the National League, games will be played from Wednesday to Friday under the same rules as listed above. Here’s a look at the NL bracket.
- No. 8 Milwaukee Brewers (29-31) at No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17)
- No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals (30-28) at No. 4 San Diego Padres (37-23)
- No. 6 Miami Marlins (31-29) at No. 3 Chicago Cubs (34-26)
- No. 7 Cincinnati Reds (31-29) at No. 2 Atlanta Braves (35-25)
Teams will not be reseeded as the 2020 MLB postseason progresses. Let the madness begin.
All scores, schedules, and records courtesy of MLB.com