It took all 162 games of the regular season, but they’ve finally figured out the participants and schedule for the 2012 Major League Baseball Playoffs. If you placed a bet before the season that the Baltimore Orioles (from 69-93 in 2011 to 93-69 in 2012), Washington Nationals (improving by 18 games to finish with the best record in baseball) and Oakland Athletics (from 74-88 to 94-68, surprising everybody by overtaking the Texas Rangers in the final week to win the AL West) would all make the playoffs, you should be significantly wealthier today than you were back in April.
This year the playoffs begin with the new one-game “Wild Card Playoff” in each league. They’ll be played on Friday 10/5/12 with the Orioles traveling to play the Texas Rangers in the American League game and the St. Louis Cardinals going to Atlanta to play the Braves in the National League game. The winners of those games will play their first League Divisional Series games at home on Sunday 10/7/12. In the National League, the Wild Card winner will be playing the Nationals in the NLDS while the American League winner will host the New York Yankees.
The other best-of-5 LDS series start on Saturday (10/6/12). Oakland plays at Detroit on Saturday and Sunday, with games 3, 4 and 5 scheduled for Oakland on October 9th-11th. In the National League, Cincinnati plays at San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday then the Giants travel east to finish the series at the Reds home on the 9th through 11th.
The American League Championship Series begins on Saturday, 10/13/12 at the home ballpark of the team with the best regular season record. The NLCS starts on Sunday, 10/14/12. If they go the full seven games, the ALCS will end on Sunday October 21st and the NLCS on Monday October 22nd. This year’s World Series begins in the National League champion’s stadium on Wednesday October 24th. Game 7, if required, is scheduled for November 1st.
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