MLB announces tiebreaker sequence for AL wild-card, if necessary

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Three teams -- the Rays, Indians and Rangers -- remain in the hunt for the two AL wild-card spots heading into the final week of the regular season. This race is going down to the wire, and it's very possible we'll be left with a three-way tie when the season ends on Sunday. MLB has announced the sequence of tiebreakers should that happen. From the press release:

If the three Clubs are tied after Sunday’s games, then the tie will be broken using the following system.  Since the three Clubs each won one season series and lost one season series against each other in head-to-head competition in the regular season, MLB will use a system of designations – as Club A, Club B or Club C – based on their combined winning percentages in head-to-head competition against one another in the regular season.

Club A would host Club B on Monday, with the winner earning a Wild Card.  The loser of Monday’s game would then play at Club C on Tuesday, with Tuesday’s winner earning the other Wild Card.  Home-field advantage in Wednesday’s A.L. Wild Card Game would be determined by the head-to-head record between the two Clubs that earned the Wild Card berths.

The relevant winning percentages are:

Head-to-Head Season Series Records:

Combined Records:

TB won season series against CLE, 4-2;

CLE: 7-5 (.583)

TEX won season series against TB, 4-3;

TB: 7-6 (.538)

CLE won season series against TEX, 5-1.

TEX: 5-8 (.385)

Because the Indians posted the highest winning percentage, they had the first choice of designation.  The Indians opted to be Club A. With the second-best record among the three Clubs, the Rays opted to be Club B. The Rangers received the remaining designation as Club C.

So, in English, that means the Rays would play the Indians in Cleveland on Monday if there's a three-way tie. The winner of that game gets the first wild-card spot while the loser plays the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday. The winner of that game gets the second wild-card spot.

If there is a boring ol' two-team tie for the second wild-card spot, that tiebreaker game will be played Monday. The AL wild-card game is scheduled for Wednesday.

After all that ... I'm definitely rooting for a three-way tie.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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