With the regular season stretch drive approaching, MLB has released its 2017 postseason schedule.
The non-waiver trade deadline is in the rearview mirror, so all 30 MLB teams have somewhat declared where they are on the playoff spectrum for this year. An extra Wild Card has opened up more possible postseason contenders, and created more excitement for fans in recent years.
Next week will already be mid-August, and the proverbial stretch drive can unofficially start. In an effort to not be overcome by news from NFL training camps, MLB announced its 2017 postseason schedule on Tuesday.
The AL Wild Card game will take place on Oct. 3, and air on ESPN. The NL Wild Card game will follow on Oct. 4, and air on TBS.
The two American League Division Series will start on Oct. 5, and air on FS1 or MLB Network, Both National League Division Series will follow on Oct. 6, with a doubleheader of Game 1s on TBS.
The ALCS will start on Oct. 13 (on Fox/FS1), followed by the NLCS on Oct. 14 (TBS).
The 113th World Series, carried as usual by Fox, will start Oct. 24 with the traditional 2-3-2 format. Game 7, if necessary, will be played on Nov. 1. If the Fall Classic goes the full seven games, it will be the third straight year the MLB postseason has extended into November.
Playing a deciding World Series game on Nov. 1 invites potential weather problems and uncomfortable conditions for the players. Cold weather at night is likely in any northern city at that point on the calendar, as he we saw in Chicago and Cleveland in 2016. Snow is also possible in those type of northern and northeastern locations, but major league baseball has mostly walked the tightrope and avoided that kind of weather delay in the past.
Commissioner Rob Manfred may secretly be hoping for a Los Angeles Dodgers-Houston Astros World Series, so as to avoid any cold weather and major weather issues. But the randomness of the MLB postseason virtually assures a different outcome.