2021 Major League Baseball season

Last updated
2021 MLB season
League Major League Baseball
SportBaseball
DurationApril 1 – November 3
Number of games162
Number of teams30
Draft
Top draft pick TBD
Picked by Pittsburgh Pirates
Regular season
World Series
MLB seasons
2022 

The 2021 Major League Baseball season began on April 1 and is scheduled to end on October 3. The 91st All-Star Game scheduled to be held on July 13 was supposed to be held at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, but league officials have moved the game to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, following the passage of the Georgia Senate Bill 202 by the Georgia General Assembly, which MLB considered to be restrictive of voting rights. [1] [2] The World Series is scheduled to begin on October 26 and a potential Game 7 is scheduled for November 3. The entire schedule was released on July 9, 2020. [3] For the second consecutive year, cross-border travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the Toronto Blue Jays to open their home schedule in the U.S., first in Dunedin, Florida, [4] and then in Buffalo, New York starting on June 1. [5]

Contents

This year is the final season of the Cleveland Indians competing with that nickname. On December 14, 2020, the team announced that they would unveil their new moniker and associated uniform and stadium changes before the 2022 season to replace the 106-year-old nickname. [6]

Schedule

Major League Baseball announced the 2021 regular season schedule on July 9, 2020. [7] A full 162-game season is planned. As has been the case since 2013, all teams will play their four division opponents 19 times each for a total of 76 games. They will play six or seven games against each of the other ten same-league opponents for a total of 66 games, and 20 interleague games. For the second season in a row, interleague play will be between corresponding regions (AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central, and AL West vs. NL West) rather than continue the annual rotation. This will include the New York Mets and New York Yankees being scheduled to play a series from September 10–12, which will feature commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2001. [7] The 20 interleague games each team will play will consist of two three-game series (one home, one away) against its natural rival (total of six games), two two-game series (one home, one away) against each team for two other opponents (total of eight games), and a single three-game series against each team for the last two (one home, one away; total of six games).

The MLB at Field of Dreams game, originally scheduled for 2020 but cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will feature a matchup between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox at a purpose-built ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa on August 12. [8]

The 2021 MLB Little League Classic will feature a matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on August 22. [9]

Rule changes

On February 9, Major League Baseball announced the following temporary rule changes for the 2020 season would continue in the 2021 season:

An increase of the active roster size to 26 players, originally planned for the 2020 season, took effect. Other changes that had also been planned—a limit of 13 pitchers on active rosters and restrictions on position players pitching—were waived for 2021. [11]

COVID-19 protocols remain in effect, but may be eased by teams once 85% of their tier 1 staff are fully-vaccinated. [12]

Standings

Managerial changes

General managers

Offseason

TeamFormer GMReason For LeavingNew GMNotes
Los Angeles Angels Billy Eppler Fired Perry Minasian On September 27, 2020, the Angels fired Billy Eppler after five seasons as general manager just after the 2020 season, with one year remaining on his contract after they were quietly extended over the summer. [13] Eppler was hired after the 2015 season. Under his tenure, the Angels had five straight losing seasons with no playoffs appearance. On November 12, the Angels hired Perry Minasian as his replacement. [14]
Philadelphia Phillies Matt Klentak Resigned Sam Fuld On October 3, 2020, Matt Klentak stepped down after a third straight September collapse left the team out of the postseason for the ninth consecutive season. The 40-year-old was reassigned to another position in the organization while Ned Rice served as interim general manager until the Phillies hired Dave Dombrowski as President of baseball operations. [15] On December 22, Fuld was announced as the next GM of the Phillies. [16]
New York Mets Brodie Van Wagenen Fired Jared Porter On November 6, 2020, the Mets parted ways with Brodie Van Wagenen after two seasons as general manager, hours after Steve Cohen became the new owner of the team. [17] On December 13, the Mets announced Jared Porter as their new general manager. [18]
Jared Porter Zack Scott (interim)On January 18, ESPN revealed that Porter had sent inappropriate images to a female reporter. On January 19, Steve Cohen tweeted that Porter had been fired. [19] On January 27, the Mets named Zack Scott as acting general manager. [20]
Miami Marlins Michael Hill Contract Not Renewed Kim Ng Michael Hill was not retained by the Marlins after the 2020 season. On November 13, 2020, the Marlins hired Kim Ng as his replacement, making her the first female and Asian-American general manager in league history. [21]
Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein Resigned Jed Hoyer On November 17, 2020, Theo Epstein announced that he will step down from his role with the Cubs. Jed Hoyer was promoted to take his place. [22]
Texas Rangers Jon Daniels Chris Young On December 4, 2020, Jon Daniels, who remains president of baseball operations, announced that he step down from his role as general manager. Chris Young was hired to take his place. [23]

Field managers

Offseason

TeamFormer ManagerInterim ManagerReason For LeavingNew ManagerNotes
Detroit Tigers Ron Gardenhire Lloyd McClendon Retired A. J. Hinch On September 19, 2020, Gardenhire announced his retirement due to health concerns. Lloyd McClendon was named interim manager for the rest of the season that same day. Gardenhire finished with a 132–241 (.354) record in just under three seasons. The Tigers did not make the playoffs during his tenure. [24] The Tigers hired A.J. Hinch on October 30 as their new manager. [25] In seven seasons, Hinch has accumulated a 570–472 (.547) record while managing the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks. He led the Astros to two World Series appearances, winning in 2017 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and losing in 2019 to the Washington Nationals, both in seven games.
Boston Red Sox Ron Roenicke NoneContract Not Renewed Alex Cora On September 27, 2020, the Red Sox announced that Roenicke would not be retained for the 2021 season after only one season following the team and Alex Cora parting ways. [26] Roenicke finished his only season with a 24–36 (.400) record and did not make the postseason. Cora was re-hired on November 6 after serving a one-year suspension imposed by MLB for his role in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. [27] Prior to his suspension, Cora was 192–132 (.593) in two seasons with the Red Sox, leading the team to a World Series win in his first season.
Chicago White Sox Rick Renteria Fired Tony La Russa On October 12, 2020, the White Sox announced that Renteria will not return, ending his tenure with the team after four years with one year remaining on his contract. Renteria finished with a record of 236–309 (.433) and one playoff appearance. [28] On October 29, it was announced that Tony La Russa would return to the White Sox as manager. La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979–1986, compiling a 522–510 (.506) and one playoff appearance. At the age of 76, La Russa became the oldest manager in the majors. He had not managed any team since the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. [29]

League leaders

(Updated through games on June 17)

American League

National League

Milestones

Batters

Pitchers

No-hitters

  • Joe Musgrove (SD):
    • Musgrove threw his first career no-hitter, and the first no-hitter in the franchise's 53-season history, by defeating the Texas Rangers 3–0 on April 9. He struck out 10 and did not walk a batter, throwing 77 of his 112 pitches as strikes. The only blemish was when Musgrove hit Joey Gallo with a pitch in the fourth inning. [36]
  • Carlos Rodón (CWS):
    • Rodón threw his first career no-hitter, and the 20th in franchise history, by defeating the Cleveland Indians 8–0 on April 14. He struck out seven, throwing 75 strikes on 114 pitches. Rodón was perfect through 813 but lost his bid for a perfect game when he hit Roberto Pérez on his foot. [37]
  • John Means (BAL):
    • Means threw his first career no-hitter, and the tenth in franchise history, and the first Orioles' complete game no-hitter in 52 years, by defeating the Seattle Mariners 6–0 on May 5. He struck out 12, throwing 79 strikes on 113 pitches. The only blemish came with one out in the third inning, when Sam Haggerty reached first base on an third strike wild pitch. Means faced the minimum 27 batters, as Haggerty was caught attempting to steal second base. [38] This was the first no-hitter in Major League history in which the only baserunner for the team that was no-hit reached base by an uncaught third strike as well as the first no-hitter in Major League history that was not a perfect game in which the team that was no-hit did not have any batters reach base by a walk, a hit by pitch, or an error.
  • Wade Miley (CIN):
    • Miley threw his first career no-hitter, and the 17th in franchise history, by defeating the Cleveland Indians 3–0 on May 7. He struck out eight, throwing 72 strikes on 114 pitches. He was perfect through 613 before he allowed two baserunners in the seventh inning on a fielding error by Nick Senzel and a walk. Those were his only baserunners allowed. [39]
  • Spencer Turnbull (DET):
    • Turnbull threw his first career no-hitter, and the eighth in franchise history, by defeating the Seattle Mariners 5–0 on May 18. He struck out nine, throwing 77 strikes on 117 pitches. He walked two during the outing. Turnbull became the fifth pitcher in Major League history to throw a no-hitter within two seasons of leading the Majors in losses, last accomplished by Scott Erickson with the Twins in 1994. [40]
  • Corey Kluber (NYY):
    • Kluber threw his first career no-hitter, and the 12th in franchise history, by defeating the Texas Rangers 2–0 on May 19. He struck out nine, throwing 71 strikes on 101 pitches. His only baserunner was a walk to Charlie Culberson in the third inning. This was the first time since 1969 that no-hitters were thrown on consecutive days. [41] [42]

Other pitching accomplishments

  • José Berríos (MIN) / Corbin Burnes (MIL):
    • In their matchup on April 3, they became the first pair of starting pitchers in the modern era (since 1900) that struck out 10 or more batters and gave up one or no hits. Berrios struck out 12 over six innings and did not allow a hit, while Burnes went 613 and gave up one hit and struck out 11. [43]
  • Shane Bieber (CLE):
    • Became the first pitcher since 1893 to record 10 strikeouts in each of his first four starts with his 13 strikeout performance against the Cincinnati Reds on April 18. [46]
  • Corbin Burnes (MIL):
    • Set the Major League record on April 20 against the San Diego Padres for most strikeouts by a starter to begin a season without issuing a walk. Burnes has struck out 40 batters and broke the record of 35 set by Adam Wainwright in 2013. [47]
    • Set the Major League record for most strikeouts by a pitcher to begin a season without issuing a walk by getting Harrison Bader of the St. Louis Cardinals on May 13. The second-inning strikeout was the 52nd strikeout by Burnes and that broke the record held by Kenley Jansen set in 2017. Burnes streak came to an end later in the game at 58 strikeouts, when he walked Tommy Edman in the fifth inning. This was, at the time, also a Major League record for most strikeouts without a walk. [48]
  • Jacob deGrom (NYM):
    • After his 15-strikeout performance against the Washington Nationals on April 23, deGrom set the Major League record for most strikeouts by a pitcher in their first four starts of a season. He broke the record of 48 that was set by Nolan Ryan in 1978 and equaled by Shane Bieber earlier this season. [49]
    • deGrom struck out nine against the Boston Red Sox on April 28, which gave him 59 in his first five starts of a season. He tied the record that was set by Nolan Ryan in 1978. [50]
  • Madison Bumgarner (ARI):
    • Threw a "complete game no-hitter" in the second game of a seven-inning doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves on April 25. As the game did not go nine innings, it is not counted as a no-hitter by the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball. [51]
  • Gerrit Cole (NYY):
    • With his strikeout of Joey Gallo on May 17 in the first inning, Cole set a Major League record for most strikeouts without a walk at 59, breaking the record set by Corbin Burnes less than a week before. Cole extended his record to 61 before he issued a walk to Gallo in the third inning. [52]

Miscellaneous

Awards and honors

Monthly awards

Uniforms

Anniversaries and special events

TeamSpecial occasion
All teams#42 patch for Jackie Robinson Day (April 15)
Pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness (May 9, Mother's Day)
Patch for Armed Forces Day (May 15)
Poppy for Memorial Day (May 31)
"4-ALS" patch for Lou Gehrig Day (June 2) [68]
"Play Ball" patch in partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball (June 5–7)
Blue ribbons for prostate cancer (June 20, Father's Day)
Gold ribbons for childhood cancer (August 27)
Atlanta BravesSesquicentennial Season
In memory of Hank Aaron
In memory of Phil Niekro
2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (April 1)
Arizona Diamondbacks20th anniversary of 2001 World Series championship
Baltimore Orioles55th anniversary of 1966 World Series championship
Boston Red SoxPatch for Earth Day (April 22)
Cincinnati Reds45th anniversary of 1976 World Series championship
#8 patch in memory of Joe Morgan [69]
Colorado Rockies 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Los Angeles Dodgers40th anniversary of 1981 World Series championship
2020 World Series championship (April 9)
#2 patch in memory of Tommy Lasorda [70]
#20 patch in memory of Don Sutton [70]
Los Angeles Angels60th anniversary season
Milwaukee Brewers#44 patch in memory of Hank Aaron [71]
Minnesota Twins30th anniversary of 1991 World Series championship
In memory of Mike Bell
New York Mets35th anniversary of 1986 World Series championship
#41 patch in memory of Tom Seaver [72]
New York Yankees25th anniversary of 1996 World Series championship
60th anniversary of 1961 championship
65th anniversary of 1956 championship
#16 patch in memory of Whitey Ford [73]
80th anniversary of 1941 World Series championship
Oakland Athletics110th anniversary of 1911 World Series championship
Philadelphia Phillies#15 patch in memory of Dick Allen [74]
Pittsburgh Pirates50th anniversary of 1971 World Series championship
San Francisco Giants100th anniversary of 1921 World Series championship
St. Louis Cardinals15th anniversary of 2006 World Series championship
10th anniversary of 2011 World Series championship
#45 patch in memory of Bob Gibson [75]
90th anniversary of 1931 World Series championship

Wholesale changes

  • The Boston Red Sox released a new alternate uniform as part of Nike's "City Connect" series. The uniforms feature a yellow base with blue letters as homage to the Boston Marathon, which takes place on Patriots' Day. [76]
  • The San Francisco Giants added names to their home and alternate uniforms. [77]
  • The Miami Marlins released a new alternate uniform as part of Nike's "City Connect" series. The uniforms feature a red base, white pinstripes and white letters with light blue trim as a tribute to the Cuban Sugar Kings. [78]
  • The Chicago White Sox released a new alternate uniform as part of Nike's "City Connect" series. The uniforms were in a dark grey shade with white pinstripes and featured Gothic-styled lettering as homage to the South Side of Chicago. [79]
  • The Chicago Cubs released a new alternate uniform as part of Nike's "City Connect" series. The uniforms were dark blue with sky blue accents, with elements inspired by the flag of Chicago. The uniform proudly emblazoned "Wrigleyville" in front, in a lettering style similar to the Wrigley Field marquee. [80]
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks released a new alternate uniform as part of Nike's "City Connect" series. The uniforms were sand with black letters and red numbers, and featured "Serpientes" in front as homage to Arizona's Hispanic community. [81]

Other uniforms

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers wore gold-trimmed home jerseys on April 9–11 in celebration of their 2020 World Series championship. [82] [83] They also wore these uniforms on June 15 to commemorate the "reopening" of Dodger Stadium to full capacity. [84]
  • The Red Sox wore a patch with a Boston Strong patch on April 19, Patriots Day.
  • Players, managers, and coaches wore #42 on April 15 and/or 16 to mark the 74th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in the majors. The Mets and Nationals, who were rained out on April 15, wore them on April 23.
  • The Cincinnati Reds wore Spanish language "Los Rojos" uniforms on May 5, Cinco de Mayo. [85]
  • MLB will introduce a new Lou Gehrig Day commemoration on June 2, which will mark the 80-year anniversary of Gehrig's death, and include appeals to ALS-related charities. All players will wear a commemorative Lou Gehrig Day patch, and optionally a red wristband reading "4 ALS" in reference to Gehrig's retired #4. [86]

Throwbacks

Venues

The Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park was renamed American Family Field after Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance outbid the Miller Brewing Company for the ballpark's naming rights. Miller's 20-year contract expired at the end of the 2020 season. [89] [90]

On February 18, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they will open their home portion of their schedule at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida due to COVID-19 travel restrictions between the Canada-US border. If the border remains closed after May, the team will play the summer at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, where the team played its 2020 season. [4] On May 5, it was announced, that starting on June 1, the Blue Jays will return to Sahlen Field in Buffalo. [5]

On March 31, the Miami Marlins announced that Marlins Park would be renamed to LoanDepot Park, as the naming rights were sold to Lake Forest, California-based LoanDepot. [91]

COVID-19 restrictions

Unlike 2020, where all games (excluding the NLCS and World Series) were played behind closed doors, all MLB teams are allowing in-person attendance this season, with the exact capacity determined by teams and local health officials, and expected to increase over the course of the season if active cases decline and more local residents receive COVID-19 vaccines. [92] [93] [94] To help promote vaccination, a number of teams announced that they would sponsor walk-in clinics at their home games (with the Seattle Mariners being the first to do so), and offer incentives such as free tickets to games for those who use the clinics (Atlanta, New York Mets and Yankees), or other promotions for vaccinated spectators at games. [95] [93]

TeamLimitationsSource
ArizonaInitial: Capped at 25% capacity.
From May 25: Full capacity.
[92]
AtlantaInitial: Capped at 33% capacity.
From April 23: Capped at 50% capacity.
From May 7: Full capacity.
[92] [96]
BaltimoreInitial: Capped at 25% capacity.
From June 1: Full capacity.
[92]
BostonInitial: Capped at 12% capacity.
From May 10: Capped at 25% capacity.
From May 29: Full capacity.
[92] [97]
Chicago CubsInitial: Capped at 20% capacity.
From June 11: Full capacity.
[92] [98]
Chicago White Sox
CincinnatiInitial: Capped at 30% capacity.
From April 30: Capped at 40% capacity.
From June 2: Full capacity.
[92] [99]
ClevelandInitial: Capped at 30% capacity.
From May 7: Capped at 40% capacity
From June 2: Full capacity
[92] [100] [101]
ColoradoInitial: Capped at 42.6% capacity.
From June 1: 70% capacity.
From June 28: Full capacity.
[92] [102] [103]
DetroitInitial: Capped at 20% capacity.
From June 1: Full capacity.
[92]
HoustonInitial: Capped at 50% capacity.
From May 25: Full capacity.
[104]
Kansas CityInitial: Capped at 30% capacity.
From May 31: Full capacity.
[92]
Los Angeles AngelsInitial: Capped at 33% capacity.
From May 19: Capped at 67% capacity.
From June 17: Full capacity.
[92] [94] [105]
Los Angeles DodgersInitial: Capped at 33% capacity.
From May 5: Capped at 67% capacity.
From June 15: Full capacity.
[92] [94]
MiamiInitial: Capped at 25% capacity.
From July 5: Full capacity.
[92]
MilwaukeeInitial: Capped at 25% capacity.
From June 25: Full capacity.
[92]
MinnesotaInitial: Capped at 25% capacity.
From July 5: Full capacity.
[92]
New York MetsInitial: Capped at 20% capacity with negative COVID-19 PCR test within past 72 hours, negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test within past 6 hours, or vaccination completed no fewer than 14 days prior to the game.
From May 19: Stadium sections that are not reserved to fully-vaccinated spectators are capped at 33% capacity. All other sections have no capacity limit.

From June 18: Full capacity

[92] [106] [107] [93]
New York Yankees
OaklandInitial: Capped at 33% capacity. Tickets sold to California residents only.
From June 9: Capped at 67% capacity.
From June 29: Full capacity.
[92] [94]
PhiladelphiaInitial: Capped at 20% capacity.
From May 21: Capped at 16,000 spectators.
From June 12: Full capacity.
[92] [108]
PittsburghInitial: Capped at 20% capacity.
From July 1: Full capacity.
[92]
San DiegoInitial: Capped at 20% capacity.
From April 7: Capped at 33% capacity.
From June 9: Capped at 67% capacity.
From June 17: Full capacity.
[94]
San FranciscoInitial: Capped at 33% capacity.
From May 5: Capped at 67% capacity.
From June 25: Full capacity.
[92] [94]
SeattleCapped at 9,000 spectators. [92]
St. LouisInitial: Capped at 32% capacity.
From May 21: Capped at 60% capacity.
From June 14: Full capacity.
[92] [109]
Tampa BayCapped at 9,000 spectators. [110] [111]
TorontoCapped at 15% capacity for played at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida. Games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York were capped at 50% capacity to start; this increased to 80% capacity by June 24

.

[92] [112] [113]
TexasOn March 11, it was announced that the team would not limit attendance for their home opener, but will voluntarily offer designated "distanced seating" sections afterwards. All mandatory capacity restrictions and mask requirements in Texas were lifted on March 10 via executive order, but the team will still mandate masks to be worn by spectators. [114] [115] [116]
WashingtonInitial: Capped at 5,000 spectators.
From April 15: Capped at 10,000 spectators.
From June 10: Full capacity.
[117] [118]

Broadcast rights

Television

National

This will be the eighth and final year of the current contracts with Fox, ESPN, and TBS before the new seven-year deals begin in 2022. FS1 will televise games on Tuesday nights and on Saturday, both during the afternoon and evening. Fox will also air some Saturday night games. ESPN will televise games on its flagship Sunday Night Baseball as well as Monday and Wednesday night games and holiday games on Memorial Day and Labor Day. ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts will be exclusive.

TBS will televise 13 straight weeks of Sunday afternoon games and will also televise the National League postseason (NL Wild Card Game (barring any postseason format changes), the NLDS, and the NLCS). The American League postseason will be broadcast among ESPN, Fox, FS1, and MLB Network (AL Wild Card on ESPN (barring any postseason format changes), the ALDS split between FS1 and MLB Network, and the ALCS on Fox and FS1). For the 22nd straight year, the 2021 World Series will air exclusively on Fox. [119]

A three game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants, whose regional television rights are both held by the NBC Sports Regional Networks, aired exclusively and nationally on NBC's streaming service Peacock. The first time that NBC Sports produced a nationally televised Major League Baseball game since the year 2000. [120]

Local

Radio

National

Local

  • Nexstar's WGN chose not to continue to originate the Chicago White Sox Radio Network after the current deal's expiration, returning the White Sox back to Good Karma Brands-managed and ESPN Radio-owned WMVP after a fifteen-year interregnum. Len Kasper, formerly the television play-by-play voice for the Chicago Cubs, will move to the South Side to do White Sox radio play-by-play, replacing Andy Masur, who temporarily became the voice of the White Sox for the 2020 season after the death of Ed Farmer. [133]
  • In November 2020, the Toronto Blue Jays released their radio play-by-play announcer Mike Wilner. [134] In February 2021, Rogers Sports & Media announced that the Toronto Blue Jays Radio Network will not produce a separate broadcast of games for radio this season, and that all broadcasts will now be a simulcast of the television broadcast on Sportsnet with Buck Martinez and Dan Shulman, augmented with radio-exclusive segments hosted by Rob Wong and Shoaib Ali. [135] The team's remaining radio play-by-play announcer Ben Wagner was re-assigned as a field reporter. Rogers' statement that this arrangement was due to COVID-19 protocols and to "minimize travel" has been disputed by media outlets, as radio and television broadcasts of all Blue Jays games had already been called remotely during the 2020 season, with no changes in personnel. [136] [137] [138]

Retirements

The following players retired during the 2021 season and before the start of 2022 campaign:

See also

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The 2017 Major League Baseball season began on April 2 with three games, including the 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals, the regular season ended in late September. The postseason began on October 3. The World Series began October 24 and Game 7 was played on November 1, in which the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games, to capture their first World Series championship in franchise history.

The 2018 Major League Baseball season began on March 29. The regular season ended on October 1, extended a day for tiebreaker games to decide the winners of the National League Central and National League West divisions. The postseason began on October 2. The World Series began on October 23, and ended on October 28 with the Boston Red Sox defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win their ninth World Series championship.

The 2019 Major League Baseball season began on March 20, while the regular season ended on September 29. It was the 150th anniversary of professional baseball, dating back to the 1869 foundation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The postseason began on October 1. The World Series began October 22 and ended October 30 with the Washington Nationals defeating the Houston Astros in seven games to win their first World Series championship. The entire schedule was released on August 22, 2018.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season began on July 23 and ended on September 27 with 60 games amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The full 162-game regular season was originally scheduled to begin on March 26. However, the pandemic caused Major League Baseball (MLB) to announce on March 12 that the remainder of spring training was canceled and that the start of the regular season would be delayed by at least two weeks. On March 16, MLB announced that the season would be postponed indefinitely, following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to restrict events of more than 50 people. This was the first time that MLB games have been put on hold since the 2001 season, when the season was paused for over a week after the September 11 attacks.

2020 American League Wild Card Series Professional baseball postseason series

The 2020 American League Wild Card Series were four best-of-three series in Major League Baseball (MLB) to determine participating teams in the 2020 American League Division Series. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB expanded the postseason instead of holding the regular Wild Card Game for each league. All games for each series were played at the higher seeded team's home ballpark.

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