MLB Playoff Expansion Might Force Division Winners To Open On Road

NEW YORK –- With Major League Baseball set to add another wild card to its postseason – perhaps with an announcement as early as today – it's possible that because of inadequate time to fix the schedule, division winners could be forced to open the playoffs on the road, SB Nation has learned.

The addition of another wild card team will create a play-in game between the two wild cards, but because the 2012 regular season schedule was made prior to this proposed addition, there may not be enough days built in for travel. Therefore, if MLB cannot find a resolution, the current 2-2-1 format would change to 2-3, with the division winners opening away from their respective home ballparks.

Both the players' union and MLB are still finalizing discussions, but a source told SB Nation that the 2-3 format has already been agreed upon if there is no way to keep the 2-2-1 format. The change will only be in place for the 2012 postseason, because the schedule had already been finalized before the discussion of adding wild card teams happened; that obviously will not be the case in 2013. Next year also should be easier overall on the schedule makers since it's expected that a National League team is expected to move to the A.L. next season.

Spokespeople for MLB and the MLBPA could not be reached.

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