Triple-A teams to play in postseason tourney

July 15th, 2021

The Triple-A regular season is set to end Sept. 19 (Triple-A East) and Sept. 21 (Triple-A West). Technically, that’s still true. But teams at the top level of the Minors can expect a little bonus baseball in 2021.

Both Triple-A East and Triple-A West teams will play an additional 10 games in a two-week postseason format dubbed the “Triple-A Final Stretch,” Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball both announced this week. All 30 teams will get five games at home and five games on the road in the new structure.

When the traditional campaigns end on Sept. 19 and 21, two regular-season champions will be crowned in both the Triple-A East and Triple-A West circuits, based on overall winning percentage. The next tiebreakers are head-to-head record, then best winning percentage over the final 20 games, then 21 games and so on until the deadlock can actually be broken.

The Triple-A Final Stretch will feature only one winner in the entire level, based on winning percentage during the 10-game schedule set to run Sept. 22-Oct. 3. Regular-season winning percentage will be the primary tiebreaker for the Triple-A Final Stretch, followed by the other tiebreakers above.

The original Triple-A regular season was scheduled to begin on April 6 but was pushed back to May 4-6 due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We think this format will add excitement to the end of the season while also allowing our teams a chance to reschedule games that were lost earlier in the year,” said Major League Baseball senior vice president of Minor League operations and development Peter Woodfork. “With all 30 teams participating in this Final Stretch, all Triple-A players and communities will have the opportunity to win this year’s postseason tournament.”

The official Final Stretch matchups are below: