It has been reported that the MLB is set to announce the addition of a second Wild Card spot for this season. Commissioner Bud Selig was pushing for the scheduling to be worked out so that the extra playoff game could be added to the already finalized postseason. MLB and the players union have been negotiating this past month, and the new postseason format could be finalized as early as Thursday.
We looked at the possibility of the additional Wild Card spot with reference to the Dodgers in our Winning As The Wild Card piece earlier this winter and how this new format could benefit the Dodgers and allow them to sneak into the playoffs if they aren’t able to win the NL West. I also admittedly came to an acceptance phase with the Wild Card system, even though I had previously been against it when it was first brought to the Major League in 1995. Scott explains the Minor Changes To The Wild Card And Playoff System and the evolution of the playoffs in MLB.
One of the changes is that the Wild Card team that advances to the Division Series plays the number one team no matter what division they are from. So this sets up a few interesting scenarios.
If the Dodgers win a Wild Card spot, and they must battle in a one-game playoff do-or-die game….
Clayton Kershaw pitches. So we would have like a 98% chance of winning, correct?
If the Dodgers and Giants both secure a Wild Card spot….
Could we see a Clayton Kershaw/Tim Lincecum epic Wild Card battle? Now that would be fun!
Or the Dodgers, if holding the Wild Card at the conclusion of the season, could be pitted against one of our other foes like the Phillies. One game with everything on the line…gimmicky, yet exciting.
Another hypothetical situation could be if three teams from the same division all make the playoffs. The D-Backs, Dodgers, and Giants all in it to win it? Stranger things have happened.
Sure, with 10 teams now in the playoffs it could allow a really good team to be knocked out by a lesser one. Yet having the best record doesn’t ever necessarily guarantee a successful postseason run anyways-take for instance the Philadelphia Phillies’ disappointing playoff performance last season or the comeback kids of St. Louis.
It also allows teams who are in divisions with dominating teams like the AL East or NL East to have a chance to make the postseason when normally they would be shut out.
If anything it will be make for one exciting day of postseason baseball.