The split-season format adopted by major league baseball owners for 1981 means that the four teams in first place when the strike began on June 12 are the first-half champions of their divisions. They are Philadelphia in the NL East, Los Angeles in the NL West, New York in the AL East, and Oakland in the AL West.
The season resumes today and will follow the original schedule to its conclusion on Oct. 4, at which point the four leaders will be the second half champions.
The winners of each half will meet in the newly created best-of-five divisional playoffs beginning Oct. 6. If one team wins both halves, it will meet the team with the next best overall record. The scheduling format for these playoffs is still to be determined, but it is expected that any team which wins both halves will get a home field advantage of some sort.
The regular best-of-five league playoffs matching the division champions will now begin Oct. 13, one week later than originally scheduled, with the World Series also pushe d back one week to an Oct. 20 starting date.