Final frenzy for Wild Card

BY foxsports • September 25, 2013

With three games to go here is a quick review of the Indians playoff scenarios at the moment:
The AL Wildcard standings:

































Team Wins Losses  Pct.  GB  Next Opponent 
Tampa Bay  90  69  .566 +1.0  @ Toronto 
Cleveland  89  70  .560 ---  @ Minnesota 
Texas  88  71  .553 1.0  L.A. Angels 




Magic numbers vs. teams: Rays (5), Rangers (3)
Playoff odds (per CoolStandings.com): Rays (94.8%), Indians (85.8%), Rangers (19.4%).
Wildcard scenarios:
The wildcard race is down to three teams for two spots. Here are the various scenarios in the event of a tiebreaker.
Note - any time there is a tie of two teams for one wildcard spot or three teams for two spots, the ties are broken with a playoff game (or games) on the field in advance of a wildcard round. In the event two teams tie for the two wildcard spots and no other team is in the wildcard mix, then head-to-head is used to determine who gets home field for the wildcard game (or play-in game).
First off, to help with some of the scenarios, it is important to know how each team did head to head versus the other (for home field purposes). The Rays went 4-2 against the Indians and 3-4 against the Rangers. The Indians went 2-4 against the Rays and 5-1 against the Rangers. The Rangers went 4-3 against the Rays and 1-5 against the Indians.
Scenario 1: All three teams tie for the two wildcard spots
In this scenario, a two-day playoff would result. The teams would be seeded based on head-to-head versus each other. The Indians would get the #1 seed because they went 7-5 against the Rays and Rangers, the Rays would be seeded #2 because they went 7-6 against the Rangers and Indians, and the Rangers would be seeded #3 because they went 5-8 against the Indians and Rays.
The Indians would host the Rays in game one on Monday in Cleveland. The winner gets the first wildcard berth. The loser is not eliminated, but would then go to Texas the next day to play the Rangers. The winner of the second game gets the other wildcard berth - the loser is eliminated. Then, two remaining teams would play the wildcard game on Wednesday and the team with the better head to head record would host.
Now, the #1 seed could opt to play the second day, but it would make little sense to sit back and wait a day when you essentially get two chances to win a wildcard berth playing in Game 1 whereas you just get one shot if you play in Game 2 only. This is why the #1 seed has the advantage as they can host the first game and even in a loss could play again the next day.
Scenario 2: Rays wildcard winner #1, Indians-Rangers tie for wildcard #2
In this scenario, the Indians would host the Rangers on Monday the day after the season for a one-game playoff to earn the wildcard berth. The winner would go on to play the Rays in Tampa on Wednesday.
Scenario 3: Indians wildcard winner #1, Rays-Rangers tie for wildcard #2
In this scenario, the Rangers would host the Rays on Monday the day after the season for a one-game playoff to earn the wildcard berth. The winner would go on to play the Indians in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Scenario 4: Rangers wildcard winner #1, Rays-Indians tie for wildcard #2
In this scenario, the Rays would host the Indians on Monday the day after the season for a one-game playoff to earn the wildcard berth. The winner would go on to play the Rangers in Texas on Wednesday.
Scenario 5: Indians and Rays tie for both wildcard spots, Rangers eliminated
In this scenario, there is no one-game playoff since two teams tied for both spots. Head to head record would simply be used to break the tie and determine home field for the wildcard playoff game. In this case the Rays would host the wildcard game.
Scenario 6: Indians and Rangers tie for both wildcard spots, Rays eliminated
In this scenario, there is no one-game playoff since two teams tied for both spots. Head to head record would simply be used to break the tie and determine home field for the wildcard playoff game. In this case the Indians would host the wildcard game.
Scenario 7: Rays and Rangers tie for both wildcard spots, Indians eliminated
In this scenario, there is no one-game playoff since two teams tied for both spots. Head to head record would simply be used to break the tie and determine home field for the wildcard playoff game. In this case the Rangers would host the wildcard game.


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