World Series to start on a Friday, could see latest end ever

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NEW YORK (AP) — The World Series is scheduled to start on a Friday for the first time since 1915 and could end on Nov. 5 — its latest ever — because of the lockout that delayed opening day.

Major League Baseball said Monday its expanded postseason will begin with all four games in the new wild-card series on Oct. 7. The other games are Oct. 8 and 9, if necessary.

As part of this year's schedule, off days will be skipped between Games 4 and 5 of the Division Series and Games 5 and 6 of the Championship Series, potentially taxing bullpens. The AL Division Series will have an unusual off day between Games 1 and 2.

The new format has 12 teams making the playoffs, up from the 10 in place from 2012-21, except the 16 used in the 2020 playoffs that followed a regular-season shortened to 60 games because of the coronavirus pandemic. The top two teams in each league get first-round byes, while the No. 3 seed faces No. 6 and No. 4 plays No. 5. The higher seed will be home in each best-of-three series.

In the best-of-five Division Series, the top seed plays the 3-vs.-6 winner and the No. 2 seed plays the 4-vs.-5 winner. The Division Series will have the familiar format of the higher seed home for Games 1 and 2, and, if necessary, Game 5. Both the AL Division Series and NL Division Series start Oct. 11.

The best-of-seven Championship Series starts Oct. 18 in the NL and Oct. 19 in the AL.

Opening day was delayed from March 31 to April 7 because of the 99-day lockout that ended on March 10, and the regular season was extended by three days to Oct. 5.

The World Series begins Oct. 28, matching its latest start, in 2009.

It will be its first Friday start since Oct. 8, 1915, at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, when the Phillies beat the Red Sox 3-1 before losing the next four games.

Since the start of playoffs, the Series had been scheduled to start on a Tuesday since 2014, in 1990 and from 1977-84, a Wednesday from 2007-13 and a Saturday from 1969-76, 1985-89 and 1991-2006.

The Series went into November for the first time in 2001, when the 9/11 terrorist attacks caused the regular season to end a week later than originally scheduled. The latest a Series game has been played is Nov. 4, in 2001 and again in 2009. Last year’s Series ended on Nov. 2 when the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros in Game 6 for their first title since 1995.

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