This year, the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs is going to feature a truncated five-game series that goes from two games in one venue to the final three in another. For the team who is up first, it’s nice to have the first two games at home, but it’s a major disadvantage overall to have to clinch on the road. That’s why Bud Selig says MLB will change those rules starting next season.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that the format will switch next season to a 2-2-1 format giving the lead team the chance to clinch at home that’s typical of every sport and every other format in baseball as well. In fact, O’Brien notes that baseball scheduled things this way to avoid further travel time for that first round since the season already runs well into autumn as it stands.
While it’s nice that baseball didn’t want to elongate things any more than necessary, the team that is forced to win out on the road this year will be frustrated and there’s likely to be a lot of grumbling having to play through it. The consolation is that it’s only for one year.