Baseball World Series

Overview of Baseball World Series

The Baseball World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League champion team and the National League champion. Before 1969, the team with the best win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series, but since then each league has conducted an entire championship series preceding the Baseball World Series to determine which teams will advance.

The World Series has now been contested 111 times, up to 2015, with the American League winning 63 and the National League winning 47. The winner of the Baseball World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner’s Trophy. The series of matches is played in October, which is the autumn season in North America, so the World Series is often referred to as the Fall Classic.

The Playoff Route

How entrance to the Baseball World Series works is that at the end of the regular season the three divisional winners, teams ranked 1, 2 and 3 according to their win-loss records, and the wild-card team ranked 4 from each of the American League and the National League go forward into the playoffs. The four teams in each league play two series of knockout baseball to determine who ‘wins the pennant’. Tradition has it that the league winners are awarded a pennant to fly over their stadium. The two league winners then meet in the Baseball World Series. The name is so called, because the first sponsor was the Daily World newspaper.

The first round of the playoffs are known as the Divisional Series and are played over the best-of-five games. The higher ranked team has home field advantage, namely three home games and two away. The second round of the playoffs are known as the Championship Series and are played in a best-of-seven games format, with home field advantage meaning four home games. In the first round, the no.1 ranked team plays the no.4 ranked team and no.2 plays no.3, unless they came from the same division, in which case 1 plays 3, and 2 plays 4. Ties in rankings are decided on the toss of a coin.

Normally, during these playoffs, and unlike the regular season there is a day’s travel in the middle of the series when the venue changes, so teams can normally have smaller pitching rotations for playoff series thanks to the extra days’ rest. Teams will normally change their rosters slightly for playoff series, perhaps bringing in an extra hitter for a pitcher, or a pitcher more used to pitching from the bullpen.

Baseball World Series Final

The playoffs finally climax with the Baseball World Series, matching up the champions of the two leagues, and playing a best of seven series with America League rules in America League ballparks, and National League rules in National League ballparks.

The home field advantage for the Baseball World Series is currently decided by whichever league wins the All-Star Game, and this has consequently become a serious debating point for fans and critics alike.