Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wild Card Races 

Today is the last day of the baseball season. As I recall, a few weeks ago I read some articles of people bemoaning the end of the season was shaping up to be boring, the races were all but decided, and if only MLB had expanded the playoffs this year we might have something interesting to watch.

Instead the Red Sox and Braves collapsed, and here on the last day of the season both Wild Card races are tied. Had MLB expanded the playoffs this season, the races would have been sewed up days ago.

Under the old 2 division system the Brewers and Diamondbacks might be within a game of each other for the NL West going into the final game, if the Brewers were in the NL and in the West. Or they might be just 2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East with the Yankees having just clinched yesterday.

You can't predict pennant races. No matter how you try to fix the rules, some years races will go down to the end of the season and some years they won't. That's baseball.

Of course, if both Wild Card races are tied after today, MLB will have effectively expanded the playoffs this year.

The one thing I do like about the proposed 2 Wild Card team Knock-Out round, is that it takes two teams who have played wildly different schedules and lets them match up head-to-head. The Rays and Red Sox played roughly the same schedule this year, so they can settle this by regular season record perfectly fairly. The Braves and Cardinals have played different schedules. The Knock-Out round would even that out some.

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