MLB

MLB postseason schedule 2021: playoff format, games and dates

The MLB postseason returns to the ten-team format and kicks off with the Wild Card Game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox on 5 October.

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MLB postseason schedule 2021: playoff format, games and dates
MATTHEW STOCKMAN AFP

The MLB regular season is over and the field is now set for the postseason playoffs, which get underway with the Wild Card Games on 5-6 October.

This year sees a return to normalcy after the neutral venues, the fanless games, and the 16-team format of last season due to the pandemic. We are now back to the usual ten-team field, with teams enjoying home-field advantage in stadiums that will be full of cheering fans.

Of the ten teams that have made the 2021 postseason, eight of them were also involved in last season’s 16-team format, namely: World Series Champions the LA Dodgers, the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, and Houston Astros. Only the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants were not involved in the 2020 postseason.

The Yankees and Red Sox secured the final two spots in the 2021 postseason on Sunday, with the two teams set to meet in the first Wild Card Game on Tuesday, 5 October. The other Wild Card Game between the Cardinals and Dodgers will go ahead on Wednesday, 6 October.

Once the single-game Wild Card Matchups are set, the divisional series action starts on Thursday, 7 October with the two ALDS games: White Sox at Astros and the winner of Red Sox/Yankees at the Rays. Friday, 8 October sees Game 2 of those ALDS matchups, as well as the winner of Cardinals/Dodgers at Giants and Braves at Brewers in the first games of the NLDS.

The League Championship Series runs from Friday 15 to Sun 24 October (if necessary), with the World Series getting underway on Tuesday 26 October.

MLB postseason schedule

All times in US Eastern Time (E.T.)

* If necessary

TBD: To be decided

Wild Card Series

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Yankees at Red Sox (8 p.m. on ESPN)

Wednesday, Oct. 6

Cardinals at Dodgers (8 p.m. on TBS)

Divisional Series

Thursday, Oct. 7

Game 1: White Sox at Astros (TBD)

Game 1: TBD at Rays (TBD)

Friday, Oct. 8

Game 2: White Sox at Astros (TBD)

Game 2: TBD at Rays (TBD)

Game 1: TBD at Giants (TBD on TBS)

Game 1: Braves at Brewers (TBD on TBS)

Saturday, Oct. 9

Game 2: TBD at Giants (TBD on TBS)

Game 2: Braves at Brewers (TBD on TBS)

Sunday, Oct. 10

Game 3: Astros at White Sox (TBD)

Game 3: Rays at TBD (TBD)

Monday, Oct. 11

*Game 4: Astros at White Sox (TBD)

*Game 4: Rays at TBD (TBD)

Game 3: Giants at TBD (TBD on TBS)

Game 3: Brewers at Braves (TBD on TBS)

Tuesday, Oct. 12

*Game 4: Giants at TBD (TBD on TBS)

*Game 4: Brewers at Braves (TBD on TBS)

Wednesday, Oct. 13

*Game 5: White Sox at Astros (TBD on FS1)

*Game 5: TBD at Rays (TBD on FS1)

Thursday, Oct. 14

*Game 5: TBD at Giants (TBD on TBS)

*Game 5: Braves at Brewers (TBD on TBS)

ALCS Schedule

Game 1: Friday, Oct. 15 on Fox (time TBD)

Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 16 on Fox or FS1 (time TBD)

Game 3: Monday, Oct. 18 on FS1 (time TBD)

Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 19 on FS1 (time TBD)

*Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 20 on FS1 (time TBD)

*Game 6: Friday, Oct. 22 on FS1 (time TBD)

*Game 7: Saturday, Oct. 23 on Fox or FS1 (time TBD)

NLCS Schedule

Game 1: Saturday, Oct. 16 on TBS (time TBD)

Game 2: Sunday, Oct. 17 on TBS (time TBD)

Game 3: Tuesday, Oct. 19 on TBS (time TBD)

Game 4: Wednesday, Oct. 20 on TBS (time TBD)

*Game 5: Thursday, Oct. 21 on TBS (time TBD)

*Game 6: Saturday, Oct. 23 on TBS (time TBD)

*Game 7: Sunday, Oct. 24 on TBS (time TBD)

World Series

Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 26 on Fox (time TBD)

Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 27 on Fox (time TBD)

Game 3: Friday, Oct. 29 on Fox (time TBD)

Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 30 on Fox (time TBD)

*Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 31 on Fox (time TBD)

*Game 6: Tuesday, Nov. 2 on Fox (time TBD)

*Game 7: Wednesday, Nov. 3 on Fox (time TBD)