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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Loads of drama this yr with present playoff format

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Baseball’s common season closed with a flourish — the New York Yankees and Boston each gained of their final at-bat to wrap up playoff spots.

And for some time, it regarded like there is perhaps much more pleasure than that.


The ultimate day started with 4 groups nonetheless within the combine for the American League’s two wild playing cards — all of them inside a recreation of one another — and the highest two groups in baseball preventing it out for the NL West title. For all of the speak about postseason growth, the present format held up fairly nicely this yr, if the thought is to create compelling, shut races on the finish of the season.

Take into account what this yr’s standings would have produced if baseball had a 14-team postseason with 4 wild playing cards per league. Within the AL, seventh-place Seattle completed 4 video games forward of eighth-place Oakland. No race to the end there, and the combat for the No. 1 seed (and a first-round bye) would have gone comfortably to Tampa Bay.

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Within the NL, the Giants and Dodgers would have battled to the tip for the highest seed, the identical method they did for the division title. Seventh-place Philadelphia completed three video games forward of a sub-.500 San Diego workforce.

What makes the dialog about postseason growth tough is that it is arduous to search out consensus on what the purpose of the playoff format must be. Is it to reward the perfect groups? Is it to maintain extra groups within the race? Is it to create an thrilling end to the common season for impartial followers?

The 106-win Dodgers, who completed a recreation behind San Francisco within the NL West, now need to face St. Louis in a single-elimination scenario. In the meantime, 88-win Atlanta goes straight to the Division Sequence. Possibly that appears unfair, however the present playoff format made the NL West race matter and compelled each the Dodgers and Giants to maintain taking part in necessary video games all the best way to the tip.

These are the forms of tradeoffs that have to be thought-about.



The Crimson Sox host the Yankees within the AL wild-card recreation Tuesday. That would be the first time these rivals have performed a winner-take-all matchup in Boston since their one-game tiebreaker for the 1978 AL East title. Bucky Dent famously hit an enormous house run for New York, however there have been additionally two different homers in that recreation, each by Corridor of Famers. Who hit them?


Brandon Lowe homered 3 times in Tampa Bay’s 12-2 win over the Yankees on Saturday. That was the one hundredth victory of the yr for the Rays, the primary time they’ve reached that mark.


Colorado allowed seven runs within the third inning at Arizona on Friday night time. It was nonetheless 7-0 within the sixth when the Rockies rallied with six runs of their very own. Then they scored three runs within the ninth and gained 9-7. At one level Colorado had a 0.9% likelihood to win, based on Baseball Savant.

That was one in all 110 losses this season for Arizona, which completed tied with Baltimore for the worst document within the majors.


Each out was massive for the Yankees of their 1-0 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday that wrapped up their playoff spot. Shortstop Gio Urshela caught a foul popup at full pace after a long term within the sixth inning, and his momentum despatched him falling down the steps into the Rays’ dugout. He held onto the ball for the out and stayed within the recreation for a bit, though he was ultimately changed.


Carl Yastrzemski and Reggie Jackson.

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