Playing at a neutral site might really benefit the Chicago White Sox this year.
The Chicago White Sox are going to be in the playoffs for the first time since 2008 this year. It is a strange year following the effects of COVID-19 on our world and that has caused Major League Baseball to do something different. It is already strange that they were forced to play 60 games instead of the normal 162 but they also expanded the postseason. Now, they are going to play the games at a neutral site which might benefit them based on the circumstances of this season.
Of course, we would rather see them play in front of a home crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field on a chilly Chicago autumn night. That just isn’t the reality this season so playing at a neutral site would benefit them if they are able to make it to that point. When I say make it to that point, it is because the three-game Wild Card series is going to be played at the higher seed’s home ballpark. The White Sox are in a good position right now to be hosting that series against whoever their opponent is.
If they are able to win that short three-game series, they would benefit from moving on to a neutral site for a few reasons. The first is the fact that they would be keeping all of their players safe. They don’t need anybody coming down with COVID-19 because an outbreak like that on the team could really sink their chances. In the playoffs, you need everybody healthy and good to go at full strength in order to have a chance at the World Series.
The MLB announced that the American League will have the ALDS at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The NLDS will be at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The ALCS will be played at Petco Park and the NLCS will be played at Globe Life Field. The two teams lucky enough to play in the World Series will play at Globe Life Field.
This format is set to where the American League Teams will start in National League parks and vice versa. They are also eliminating the off-days during a series because there is no travel. The contending teams and their families will begin a quarantine about a week before the playoffs begin in order to assure nobody will get the virus. This is all good for the White Sox because they are a young team ready to go. It feels good to be talking about playoff baseball on the South Side, regardless of the circumstances that 2020 has presented us with.