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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

Report: Texas, California considered favorites for MLB playoff bubble

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball is strongly considering the possibility of modeling its postseason after the NHL’s bubble plan, which would mean games will be played in two hub cities. As of now, the most likely states to host those playoff contests are California and Texas.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Emily Kaplan reported on Tuesday that MLB is in the early stages of drafting an operating manual for a playoff bubble. League officials continue to discuss potential host sites, and California and Texas are considered the favorites. One proposed plan would involve the two National League division series being played in San Diego and the two American League division series taking place in Arlington, Texas. MLB could then move the league championship series to a single site or continue to use two cities until the World Series.

Other possibilities for host locations include New York, Chicago and Milwaukee. Weather could be a consideration as well, which is likely one of the main reasons California and Texas are generating the most interest.

The NHL has used a two-hub format with Eastern Conference teams in Toronto and Western Conference teams in Edmonton. All games will be moved to Edmonton starting with the conference finals. The format has been successful thus far, and MLB officials have been seeking insight from the NHL to determine the best way to proceed.

MLB has had to postpone several games due to coronavirus outbreaks, while the bubble campuses with both the NBA and NHL have been an overall success to this point. It makes sense that MLB would want to switch to a similar plan for the playoffs, though players were opposed to committing to a bubble for the regular season. The same may be true for the postseason.

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