Does anyone in the American League want those wild card spots?
MLB had to announce the tiebreaker sequence in the very likely event of a 3-way tie for the two AL wildcard spots.
The teams in question are the Rays, Rangers and Indians. As the season winds to close on Sunday, we may need an extra few games just in case things break all even.
MLB issued this press release, via CBS Sports:
If the three Clubs are tied after Sunday’s games, then the tie will be broken using the following system. Since the three Clubs each won one season series and lost one season series against each other in head-to-head competition in the regular season, MLB will use a system of designations – as Club A, Club B or Club C – based on their combined winning percentages in head-to-head competition against one another in the regular season.
Club A would host Club B on Monday, with the winner earning a Wild Card. The loser of Monday’s game would then play at Club C on Tuesday, with Tuesday’s winner earning the other Wild Card. Home-field advantage in Wednesday’s A.L. Wild Card Game would be determined by the head-to-head record between the two Clubs that earned the Wild Card berths.
The relevant winning percentages are:
Head-to-Head Season Series Records: Combined Records: TB won season series against CLE, 4-2; CLE: 7-5 (.583) TEX won season series against TB, 4-3; TB: 7-6 (.538) CLE won season series against TEX, 5-1. TEX: 5-8 (.385)
Because the Indians posted the highest winning percentage, they had the first choice of designation. The Indians opted to be Club A. With the second-best record among the three Clubs, the Rays opted to be Club B. The Rangers received the remaining designation as Club C.
Hard to wrap your head around that. Simplified, the Rays would play the Indians in Cleveland on Monday, with the winner getting the first wild card spot. The loser of that game will play the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday, and the winner of that game gets that all too coveted second wild card spot. Got it?
If there’s just a two team tie for the second wild card then that tiebreaker game will take place on Monday.
Welcome to October baseball.