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Eastern League changes playoff format
- Updated: February 25, 2019
PORTLAND, MAINE — The Eastern League of Professional Baseball has announced the league will be changing its playoff format from a full-season format to a split-season format. Under the new format the first-place team from each division during both the first and second halves of the season will qualify for the postseason. This change will go into effect immediately, starting with the 2019 season.
The first half of the season will end on the 76th day of the regular season and the second half of the season will begin on the 77th day of the regular season. For the 2019 season, the final day of the first half of the season will be on Tuesday, June 18th, with the second half of the season kicking off on Wednesday, June 19th. The second half of the season will conclude on Monday, September 2nd, the final day of the regular season.
Postseason berths will be awarded to the first-place teams in both the Eastern Division and the Western Division during the first half and second half of the season. In the event the same team finishes in first place in their division in both halves of the season, the second playoff spot for that division would be awarded to the team from that division that had the best full season record. The standings for postseason berths will be determined using the won-loss record (games behind column), with winning percentage having no impact on the standings.
The first round of the postseason will feature the first half winner from each division facing the second half winner from their respective division. The team that finishes in first place in the first half will host games three through five of the best-of-five opening-round series. The second half winner will host games one and two of the opening round series. Winners from each opening round series will advance to the Eastern League Championship Series, which will feature a 2-3 format, with the series beginning in the Western Division in even numbered years and the Eastern Division in odd numbered years.