Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Texas' Globe Life Field, the home of the World Series this year. Photo: Cooper Neill/MLB via Getty Images

The MLB playoffs are less than two weeks away, and the league announced on Tuesday that the later rounds will be played at bubble sites.

The state of play: Eight teams are set per league, seeded as follows: division winners by record (1-3), division runners-up by record (4-6) and the two best remaining teams (7-8).

  • The first round will be best-of-three, with the higher seed hosting. Remaining rounds are their usual format but will be held at neutral sites.

How it works: Hoping to avoid the nightmare scenario of an outbreak during the playoffs, the four-city postseason bubble will include daily player testing and a limited number of family members, pending a supervised quarantine.

  • Transitional period: To limit external interactions, teams still mathematically alive in the playoff race will spend the season's final week in "transitional hotels" ahead of their potential first-round series.
  • The bubble: Once the field is narrowed to eight, Texas (Houston and Arlington) will host the National League, while California (San Diego and L.A.) will host the American League.
  • World Series: For the first time since 1944, the Fall Classic will be played at one site — Globe Life Field, the brand new home of the Rangers.

Between the lines: There will be no travel days in the first three rounds, which will change how managers use pitchers and favor teams with deeper staffs.

  • Aces who would normally pitch Games 1 and 5 in a five- or seven-game series on full rest must now either pitch on short rest or be saved for later.
  • The Nationals famously won last year's World Series in part by deploying their three best pitchers out of the bullpen between starts throughout October. That won't be an option this year.

Playoff picture: The AL's eight-team field is basically set, while the NL is more chaotic.

  • AL virtual locks: White Sox (100% odds), Rays (100%), Twins (100%), Athletics (100%), Yankees (99.9%), Indians (98.3%), Blue Jays (97.6%), Astros (97%).
  • NL virtual locks: Dodgers (100%), Padres (100%), Braves (100%), Cubs (100%).
  • NL still alive: Phillies (76.7%), Marlins (72.2%), Cardinals (69.8%), Giants (51.6%), Brewers (47.1%), Reds (45.4%), Rockies (19.9%), Mets (16.8%).
  • Better luck next year: Mariners (3.8%), Tigers (1.5%), Angels (1%), Orioles (0.7%), Nationals (0.5%), Royals (0.1%), Diamondbacks (0%), Pirates (0%).

The big picture: Commissioner Rob Manfred said the 16-team postseason is likely to remain beyond this season, adding that "an overwhelming majority" of owners had already endorsed the concept before the pandemic.

Go deeper

Oct 28, 2020 - Health

MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test

Justin Turner (front center) and the Los Angeles Dodgers pose for a photo after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series. Photo: Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner will be investigated after he left isolation to celebrate with the team on the field, the MLB said in a statement on Wednesday. Turner’s case is the first positive of the playoffs, which closed with the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the Dodgers’ first World Series title since 1988, and it now threatens to be overshadowed by the possibility of an outbreak. Outbreaks sidelined at least two teams before the MLB announced that the playoffs would adhere to the "bubble" concept adopted by other leagues.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.