When Major League Baseball began the Wild Card Game in 2012, they wanted to include more teams with a chance to make the playoffs. One wouldn’t believe they envisioned the two tiebreaker games we have today. The month of October is all baseball all the time. From today at 1pm until the World Series begins (10/23) you’ll have day, afternoon and night baseball.
There has never been two tiebreakers in MLB in its 100+ year history. The last time there was a single tiebreakers was in 2013 where the American League Wild Card game was preceded by Tampa Bay playing Texas in a one game tiebreaker playoff. This year we have two divisional titles on the line. At 1pm ET Milwaukee goes to Chicago to determine who will win the NL Central and then at 4pm ET, Colorado heads to Chavez Ravine to crown the winner in the NL West.
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Ironically, none of these teams faces real elimination. The winner of the Colorado/LA Dodgers game will play the loser of the Milwaukee/Chicago Cubs game for the opportunity to play the winner of Milwaukee/Chicago Cubs. Convoluted? Yeah, maybe a little. But playoff baseball is good baseball. Besides these Wild Card matchups are just the appetizer to a buffet of great baseball the next four weeks.
That starts with the five game divisional playoffs, which do have some clarity. In the National League, in addition to the four teams involved in the tiebreakers, Atlanta has qualified as the team with the best record. In the American League, it’ll be the winner of Oakland/New York Yankees that takes on the 108-game winning Boston Red Sox (yes, that was a shameless plug for our home town team). In the other AL Divisional matchup, Cleveland starts on the road again Houston.
That will take us all the way to October 11th at the latest. From there we enjoy the League Championship Series, which run from 10/12 through 10/21 (at the latest).
The World Series gets underway on 10/23 and finishes no later than Halloween. Have a great playoff run. There are plenty of great story lines and it should be a great month for baseball.