Eastern League Announces Split-Season Format
PORTLAND, MAINE - The Eastern League of Professional Baseball has announced a change to the playoff structure from a full-season format to a split-season schedule in 2019. Under the new rule, the first place team from each division during both the first and second halves of the season will qualify for postseason play.
The first half of the season ends on June 18th, the 76th day of the regular season and the second half begins the following day on Wednesday, June 19th. The Sea Dogs will be Erie during the change of halves. The final day of the second half is Monday, September 2nd.
Last season, the Sea Dogs finished 63-76 overall and sixth place in the Eastern Division. Below are the 2018-second half standings under the new playoff format.
Trenton 39-32, Portland 37-33, Reading 35-33, New Hampshire 34-34, Hartford 32-36, Binghamton 30-41.
"We are excited to adopt this new rule for the 2019 season," said Sea Dogs President/General Manager Geoff Iacuessa. "This will bring playoff level baseball to both mid-season and end of the season games and will create much excitement for our fans and players."
Postseason berths are awarded to the first place teams in both the Eastern and Western Divisions during the first and second half of the season.
If a team finishes in first place in both halves, the second playoff spot for that division is awarded to the team from that division that had the best full-season record. The standings for postseason berths will be determined based on won-loss record and not winning percentage.
The first round of the playoffs features the first-half winner from each division. The team that wins the first half will host games three through five during the best-of-five series, and the second half winner will host the first two games. Winners from each opening round series advance to the Eastern League Championship Series, which features a 2-3 format, with the series beginning in the Western Division in the even-numbered years and the Eastern Division in odd-numbered years.
Portland opens the 2019 season on Thursday, April 4th against the Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies affiliate) at Hadlock Field. Book your nine inning vacation today at seadogs.com.
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