American League Wild-Card: Five Teams Tied For One Spot

Let's presume the Yankees hold on to the first spot and the next five teams have to sort out the second spot for the right to play in the Bronx in the wild-card game.

Team A: Twins
Team B: Angels
Team C: Royals
Team D: Rangers
Team E: Mariners

We don't know how MLB will choose to split these teams up. Let's consider a few different scenarios:

Scenario 1: Two-Team/Three-Team Split

First Round, Two-Team Pod:

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team B (Angels) at Team A (Twins); winner advances

First Round, Three-Team Pod:

Game 2, Oct. 2: Team D (Rangers) at Team C (Royals); loser is eliminated

Game 3, Oct. 2: Team E (Mariners) at Game 2 winner (C or D); winner advances

Second Round:

Game 4, Oct. 3: Three-Team Pod winner (C or D or E) at Two-Team Pod winner (A or B); winner gets wild-card berth No. 2

To Reach The Wild-Card Game:

Team A has to win two games, both at home. 

Team B has to win two games, the first on the road and the second at home.

Team C has to win three games, the first at home, the second at home and the third on the road.

Team D has to win three games, the first on the road, the second at home and the third on the road.

Team E has to win two games, both on the road.

Scenario 2: Three-Team/Two-Team Split

If MLB wants Team A to be the team that has "won" the tiebreakers that are used for designations, then this scenario probably won't be used at all.

First Round, Three-Team Pod:

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team B (Angels) at Team A (Twins)

Game 2, Oct. 3: Team C (Royals) at Game 1 winner (A or B)

First Round, Two-Team Pod:

Game 3, Oct. 2: Team E (Mariners) at Team D (Rangers)

Second Round:

Game 4, Oct. 4: Two-Team Pod winner (D or E) at Three-Team Pod winner (A or B or C); winner gets wild-card berth No. 2

To Reach The Wild-Card Game:

Team A has to win three games, all at home.

Team B has to win three games, the first on the road and the second and third at home.

Team C has to win two games, the first on the road and the second at home.

Team D has to win two games, one at home and one on the road.

Team E has to win two games, both on the road.

Scenario 3: The Bye Option

Giving a team a bye and a home game doesn't seem especially fair, so let's look at two possibilities, one in which Team A gets to play at home and the other in which it has to play on the road after getting a bye.

First Round

Team A (Yankees) gets a bye

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team C (Angels) at Team B (Twins); loser eliminated

Game 2, Oct. 2: Team E (Rangers) at Team D (Royals); loser is eliminated

Second Round (Team A at home)

Game 3, Oct. 3: Game 1 winner (B or C) at Team A; loser is eliminated

Game 4, Oct. 4: Game 2 winner (D or E) at Game 3 winner (A or B or C); winner gets wild-card berth No. 2

To Reach the Wild-Card Game:

Team A has to win two games, both at home.

Team B has to win three games, the first at home, the second on the road and the third at home.

Team C has to win three games, the first and second on the road and the third at home.

Team D has to win two games, the first at home and the second on the road.

Team E has to win two games, both on the road.

Second Round (Team A on the road):

Game 3, Oct. 3: Team A at Game 1 winner (B or C); loser is eliminated

Game 4, Oct. 4: Game 2 winner (D or E) at Game 3 winner (A or B or C); winner gets wild-card berth No. 2

To Reach the Wild-Card Game:

Team A has to win two games, the first on the road and the second at home.

Team B has to win three games, all at home.

Team C has to win three games, the first on the road and the second and third at home.

Team D has to win two games, the first at home and the second on the road.

Team E has to win two games, both on the road.

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