Major League Baseball today announced the schedule for the 2012 Postseason (#Postseason), which is set to open with the inaugural pair of Wild Card Games on Friday, October 5th. Game One of the 108th World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th in the ballpark of the National League Champions.
Changes to the Postseason format include the following:
- Clubs from the same division will be allowed to play one another in either the Wild Card Game or the Division Series.
- Tiebreaker games will be played to determine Division Championships, even if the two tied Clubs are assured of participating in the Postseason. If a Division Championship tiebreaker game is necessary, the head-to-head record between the tied Clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then division record will be the next tiebreaker.
- If two Clubs are tied for both Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the tied Clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then division record will be the next tiebreaker.
Following the Wednesday, October 3rd scheduled close to the regular season, any necessary regular season tiebreaker games would be broadcast exclusively by TBS. The new Wild Card Games will launch the Postseason on Friday, October 5th and will be broadcast exclusively by TBS. This marks the second consecutive year that the Postseason will begin on a Friday. Before last year, the Postseason had not begun on a Friday since the 1915 World Series.
Two Division Series will begin on Saturday, October 6th, each involving matchups with two Division Champions squaring off. A full slate of Division Series games - two series openers, each involving a Wild Card Game winner, and a pair of Game Twos - is scheduled for Sunday, October 7th. The Division Series will run from Saturday, October 6th though Friday, October 12th, with two potential Game Fives on both Thursday, October 11th and Friday, October 12th. TBS will air 18 of the 20 Division Series games, while MLB Network will debut its live Postseason game coverage with one telecast on Sunday, October 7th and another on Wednesday, October 10th.
For the 2012 Postseason only, the five-game Division Series will begin with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games for higher seeds. This one-year change, which eliminates a travel day prior to a decisive Game Five of the Division Series, was necessary because the 2012 regular season schedule was established before the agreement on the new Postseason format was reached. Next year, the Division Series will return to the 2-2-1 format used in previous years.
The American League Championship Series will begin exclusively on TBS on Saturday, October 13th, and Sunday, October 14th will feature Game One of the National League Championship Series exclusively on FOX and Game Two of the ALCS on TBS. A potential Game Seven of the ALCS will be scheduled for Sunday, October 21st, while a potential Game Seven of the NLCS will be set for Monday, October 22nd.
Game One of the 2012 World Series will be scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th. Game Three of the Fall Classic will shift to the city of the American League Champions on Saturday, October 27th. A Game Seven, if necessary, would be played on Thursday, November 1st in the N.L. city. The scheduled off days during the World Series are Friday, October 26th and Tuesday, October 30th. In its 17th season as the official network broadcaster of Major League Baseball, FOX Sports will present exclusive live telecast coverage of the World Series.
ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all 2012 MLB Postseason games, including the Wild Card Games.