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Playoffs open with inaugural Wild Card games Oct. 5

Playoffs open with inaugural Wild Card games Oct. 5

Playoffs open with inaugural Wild Card games Oct. 5
Major League Baseball on Thursday announced the schedule for its revamped postseason, which will open on Friday, Oct. 5, with the inaugural Wild Card games and run through the 108th World Series, set to get under way on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The postseason format has undergone some alterations since 2011, when the Cardinals capped their championship run with a seven-game World Series victory over the Rangers.

The addition of a second Wild Card berth in each league created the two Wild Card games, scheduled for Oct. 5 on TBS. In each league, the winner of that game will advance to the Division Series.

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Along with the extra Wild Card spots come some additional changes.

There is no longer a rule barring teams in the same division from meeting in the Division Series, or now in the Wild Card games.

A tie for a division championship would be broken with a one-game playoff, with home-field advantage determined by head-to-head record, then division record if necessary. TBS would carry the broadcast. The same criteria would be used for establishing home field in a Wild Card game if the two teams were tied.

Two of the Division Series matchups will begin on Saturday, Oct. 6, following the end of the regular season on Oct. 3, any necessary tiebreaker games and the Wild Card contests. The Division Series will run through Friday, Oct. 12, with TBS airing 18 of the 20 potential games and MLB Network debuting its live postseason game coverage for the other two.

The American League Championship Series, airing on TBS, will start on Saturday, Oct. 13, with a potential Game 7 set for Sunday, Oct. 21. The National League Championship Series, broadcast by FOX, is slated to open and close one day later.

As the result of the NL's win in this year's All-Star Game, it will have home-field advantage in the World Series, with its representative hosting Game 1 on Oct. 24 and a potential Game 7 on Thursday, Nov. 1. FOX will present exclusive live telecast coverage of the series.

ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all postseason games.

Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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