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New Playoff Format


Baldimore, hon

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I feel like this format puts the wildcard teams at a much more severe disadvantage than previous years even though there is some more excitement because there are more playoff teams. I think you are much less likely to see a wildcard team make the world series with this format. If you do put your best pitcher in that game, then you have another series and that guy might only get to go once more.

It would be nice to be a playoff team for once, so I shouldn't complain too much, but it's just a difficult prospect for whoever makes it.

As a side note, how do the tiebreakers work now that I'm looking at the standings and we're in a 3-way tie for the second wildcard spot? Anyone know?

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I feel like this format puts the wildcard teams at a much more severe disadvantage than previous years even though there is some more excitement because there are more playoff teams. I think you are much less likely to see a wildcard team make the world series with this format. If you do put your best pitcher in that game, then you have another series and that guy might only get to go once more.

It would be nice to be a playoff team for once, so I shouldn't complain too much, but it's just a difficult prospect for whoever makes it.

As a side note, how do the tiebreakers work now that I'm looking at the standings and we're in a 3-way tie for the second wildcard spot? Anyone know?

I am loving the new format. I'm excited at the prospect of one game playoff baseball. The win-or-go-home game happens much less often in baseball than in other big sports such as basketball, football, and soccer-- and overall I think it should, because there is much more single game variance in baseball than in those sports. But we could use some more drama and randomness in the postseason. Besides 2011 and a few other isolated incidents such as the Det/Min tiebreaker game a couple years ago, do we really remember than many truly fun and climactic late season/postseason moments from the past 5-8 years?

Agreed that the wild-card teams are at a major major disadvantage, but I think that's ok. Anything that puts more premium on the regular season is fine by me. I want baseball to avoid the NBA fate where there's very little drama with regard to getting into the postseason, and the weaker teams that get in have such a small chance of winning that the select handful of championship contenders are known months before the playoffs even start.

And to answer your last question, there will be no tiebreakers. Things like head-to-head record will only affect who gets home field in a game. If you have the same record as another team and are tied for a playoff spot, you will get a guaranteed shot at getting in via a play-in game of some sort. Here's a thread that illustrates some of the possibilities and has a link to the actual rules: http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php/124345-Three-Way-Tie-for-Wild-Card-Scenario?highlight=tiebreaker

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I feel like this format puts the wildcard teams at a much more severe disadvantage than previous years even though there is some more excitement because there are more playoff teams. I think you are much less likely to see a wildcard team make the world series with this format. If you do put your best pitcher in that game, then you have another series and that guy might only get to go once more.

It would be nice to be a playoff team for once, so I shouldn't complain too much, but it's just a difficult prospect for whoever makes it.

As a side note, how do the tiebreakers work now that I'm looking at the standings and we're in a 3-way tie for the second wildcard spot? Anyone know?

That's the whole idea. For the first time it now matters if you win the division. No more coasting for a month knowing that if you slip six games you'll still be the wildcard and set up for a multi-game playoff. If you win the division you might have a 20% chance of winning it all, 12.5% just based on the number of teams in the playoffs. But if you're the wildcard, even a very stong wildcard, it's half that.

This format incentivizes winning, that's always a good thing.

On the contrary. I think it hurts the #1 seeds a lot more. They have to sit around and wait to see where/who they are going to play (remember games 1 & 2 are at the WC team).

The sitting around and waiting is obviously not nearly as big a factor as playing an extra one-and-done game. For all intents and purposes you've halved the odds of a wildcard team winning the Series, compared to a division winner. Even in a best-case scenario a team like the Tigers loses 40% of the games Verlander starts, so it's severely punishing them for not winning the division.

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On the contrary. I think it hurts the #1 seeds a lot more. They have to sit around and wait to see where/who they are going to play (remember games 1 & 2 are at the WC team).

Remember, it's only this year that games 1 and 2 are at the WC team. Starting next year it'll go back to the 2-2-1 format, with the #1 seed getting the first two games and the final game at home.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a way bigger incentive to win your own division, but how is it going to look when the AL has six teams with 90 or more wins, and the AL Central winner gets a pass with 86 or 87 wins?

The new format prevents two teams from the same division to coast because they know they're both in. But the flaws in the system are still there. The playoff seeding does not reflect the actual accomplishment of the teams that make the playoffs.

They should eliminate divisions, play a close-to-balanced league schedule with a limited number of interleague games, and seed the top 5 of 15 in the right order.

Market the 162-game schedule as the first round of the playoffs where every team has a chance, and have the top 5 qualify for the playoffs. Top 3 get in, and the actual 4th and 5th best teams play to get in.

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The sitting around and waiting is obviously not nearly as big a factor as playing an extra one-and-done game. For all intents and purposes you've halved the odds of a wildcard team winning the Series, compared to a division winner. Even in a best-case scenario a team like the Tigers loses 40% of the games Verlander starts, so it's severely punishing them for not winning the division.

Not at all! I've caught Drungo in a falsehood! :P There will still be only one Wildcard in the Playoffs. 5 get in but only 4 continue. Still same playoff randomness as before.

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