Yankees Playoff Tiebreaker Scenario EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!

Posted: October 3, 2012 by Keith Stone in baseball, MLB
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Baseball’s new playoff format is mostly great, but fuck if it isn’t complicated to figure out who is going to play who. Looking at the standings has me more confused than an Red Sox fan trying to count to 10. But I’m not from Boston, so I dusted off my old college calculus textbooks to figure this thing out, and I think I have.

Interestingly enough, the Yankees could play any of the four other playoff teams in the ALDS, or they might not even make it that far. Following their clutch 4-3 victory over Boston in 12 innings last night, here is every single outcome possible in play for the Bombers:

If the Yankees win today: they win the AL East Title and home-field until the World Series. They would start the ALDS* on the road against the Wild Card winner on Sunday. Also, BOSTON SUCKS.

If the Yankees lose and the Orioles win today: the Yankees and Orioles play a one-game tiebreaker** on Thursday in Baltimore—by virtue of the O’s better record in the AL East.

If the Yankees win the tiebreaker AND…
the Rangers beat the Athletics:
the Yankees win the AL East and home-field until the World Series—by virtue of winning the season series against the Rangers—and start the ALDS on the road against the Orioles-Athletics Wild Card winner on Sunday.
the Athletics beat the Rangers: the Yankees win the AL East and start the ALDS in Detroit against the Tigers on Saturday. The Athletics would have home-field until the World Series—by virtue of having a better division record than the Yankees.

If the Yankees lose the tiebreaker: they host the Wild Card Game Friday against the loser of the Rangers-Athletics game today. The winner of the Wild Card Game would then host Rangers-Athletics winner on Sunday—by virtue of both AL West teams winning the season series against Baltimore—while the loser hits the golf course.

If the Yankees lose and the Orioles lose today AND
the Rangers beat
the Athletics: the Yankees win the AL East and home-field until the World Series—by virtue of winning the season series against the Rangers—and start the ALDS on the road against the Wild Card winner on Sunday.
the Athletics beat the Rangers: the Yankees win the AL East and start the ALDS in Detroit against the Tigers on Saturday. The Athletics would have home-field until the World Series—by virtue of having a better division record than the Yankees.

*Can we please extend the ALDS to a best-of-7 series? It’s ridiculous that a team could roll through 162 games, and then be eliminated because of one or two bad pitching starts or an unlucky bounce. Let’s lower that margin of error.

**Why do we need a division tiebreaker game when both teams are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.? Just award the division through the existing tiebreakers in place. If you win the season series or have a better division record against the team you are tied with, that should be virtue enough to win the division. Don’t want to play in the winner-take-all Wild Card Game? Win your division games. And have we decided whether it’s a good idea to use your ace in this game? Or do you save him for any potential Wild Card Game? Is it even fair for either the Yanks or O’s to go into the ALDS having used their #1 pitcher in the tiebreaker game, when at the same time they’ll have the best record in the American League? It really defeats the advantage of having the best record in the league. I don’t get it.

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