FanPost

An Interesting Conundrum

As of right now, the National League projected standings have something interesting and perplexing on pace to happen by the season's end, which I'll further on below the jump.

Other than that, our three set playoff teams are the Phillies, Brewers and Giants, as you'll see in the projected standings (done by taking each team's winning percentage and multiplying by 162). Each team that finishes beneath them, however...

NATIONAL LEAGUE
EAST
Philadelphia Phillies.......101-61
Atlanta Braves.................88-74
New York Mets................79-83
Washington Nationals......79-83
Florida Marlins................72-90

CENTRAL
Milwaukee Brewers.........89-73
St. Louis Cardinals.........88-74
Cincinnati Reds...............84-78
Pittsburgh Pirates...........81-81
Chicago Cubs..................67-95
Houston Astros................61-101

WEST
San Francisco Giants......89-73
Arizona Diamondbacks...88-74
Colorado Rockies............81-81
Los Angeles Dodgers.....70-92
San Diego Padres...........68-94

That's right, folks--as of right now, three teams are on pace to TIE for the NL Wild Card. Now, there was almost a situation like this with the Giants, Padres and Braves last year; however, that involved two separate titles. This one involves just one, so how would it work? Would it work as its own bracket, where two tiebreakers occur? And who would get a bye?

My proposal? Since coin flips are no longer used to decide home and away, we needn't worry about doing a three-way coin flip. However, with the "in-game criteria" (IGC, henceforth) now used, how do we do this? Won-loss records against each team will, I think, be the deciding factor. But this begs several questions.

The first question is: Should a situation like this actually come about, what would MLB do? In 1999, I remember hearing about the combined use of a coin flip AND IGC to determine the winners of the NL Central AND Wild Card titles (where, if each team finished 97-65, the Astros would've been awarded the Central title based on W-L record against Cincinnati; the latter would've played New York for the Wild Card). Of course, that situation pertained to two separate titles, whereas this one pertains just to one. We can't award the Braves the Wild Card and just discount the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, nor can we do the same with the others. So what would happen?

The second question delves a bit deeper: Would this serve as a rally cry for proponents of a second wild card? If MLB had two wild cards, then we could use the GB mentality. Since Atlanta is 13 GB Philadelphia, they would NOT factor into won-loss determination, and thusly would play in a one-game playoff. Then we switch to W-L for Arizona and St. Louis. Whichever team had the worse record against each other in-season would face Atlanta; the better team claims the first wild card spot.

So we have to wonder: Since we do NOT have the convenience of two wild cards for this situation, what happens? Any suggestions from you guys?

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