Major League Baseball culminates in the World Series in North America every year. This annual championship series of baseball has been contested since 1903, and has never been more popular. The World Series is competed for between the American League champion team and the National League champion team.
Prior to 1969, the teams qualifying for the World Series were those with the best win-loss record in each league. Since then, each league conducts an entire championship series in the build-up to the World Series, and this then determines the teams to advance. The World Series of Baseball has been contested 112 times, up to 2016. The American League has won 63 times and the National League has won 48 times. The champion, and winner of the Baseball World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven match playoff series. The Commissioner’s Trophy is presented to the winner.
An Annual and Popular Event
The play-off series is conducted in October of each year, and, being the autumn season in North America, the World Series therefore also regularly referred to as the Fall Classic. Playing, or competing in the World Series occurs at the completion of the regular season where the three divisional winners are ranked 1, 2 and 3 as per their win-loss records.
A wild-card team is given the 4th ranking and is drawn from the leagues depending on their record. These teams go forward into the playoffs. The four teams from each of the American and National Leagues play a series of knockout baseball games to determine who ‘wins the pennant’. Traditionally, league winners are awarded a pennant to fly over their stadium. The two league winners, representing both the National and American Leagues meet in the World Series of Baseball.
The Name of World Series
The name of World Series, although seemingly utterly ostentatious, is actually so called because the first sponsor of this final series was the Daily World newspaper. The first round of the playoffs, known as the Divisional Series, are contested over the best of five matches, with the higher ranked team having home field advantage with three potential home games and two away. The second round of the playoffs, known as the Championship Series, are played in a best of seven games format and similarly the decider is scheduled as a home game for the higher ranked team. Ties in rankings are decided on the toss of a coin.
During the playoffs, unlike the regular season, the teams are allowed a day’s travel break in the middle of the series, and when the venue changes. This means that the participating teams can utilise smaller pitching rotations for the playoff series, which implies a slightly stronger line-up. Teams will normally strategically make alterations to their rosters during the playoff series, facilitated by the additional rest period. This means that they can bring in an extra hitter for a pitcher, or make the most of a pitcher that would normally be pitching from the bullpen.
The Climactic Final Games
The final climax to the leagues and play-offs ends with the Baseball World Series. The champions of the two leagues play a best of seven series offering some great eSports betting sites. The games are contested under America League rules in America League ballparks, and under National League rules in National League ballparks.
The all-important home field advantage for the World Series is decided by the league winning the All-Star Game. This element of controversy is currently hotly debated by fans, spectators and punters alike.