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September 14, 2017

This doesn't have nearly as many permutations as the AL wild-card race, mostly because at least one of the five teams that could wind up in this game—the Cubs, Brewers or Cardinals—will be the NL Central champion. Knowing that, it's really a question of how to work things out among the four remaining teams.

Given the current standings, we'll assume that the Cubs hold on to their lead and win the division. There may not be much drama here, as the Diamondbacks have a comfortable edge on the Brewers and Cardinals for at least one wild-card berth. But let's see what the five combinations look like: 

1. Two Teams Tied For One Wild-Card Spot

The tiebreaker game would be held at the home of the team that won the head-to-head series.

2. Three Teams Tie For One Wild-Card Spot

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team B at Team A; loser is eliminated

Game 2, Oct. 3: Team C at Game 1 winner; winner gets wild-card spot

3. Three Teams Tied For Two Wild-Card Spots

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team B at Team A; winner gets first wild-card spot

Game 2, Oct. 3: Game 1 loser at Team C; winner gets second wild-card spot

4. Four Teams Tied For One Wild-Card Spot

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team B at Team A; loser is eliminated

Game 2, Oct. 2: Team D at Team C; loser is eliminated

Game 3, Oct. 3: Game 2 winner at Game 1 winner; winner gets wild-card spot

5. Four Teams Tied For Two Wild-Card Spots

Game 1, Oct. 2: Team B at Team A; winner gets first wild-card spot

Game 2, Oct. 3: Team D at Team C; winner gets second wild-card spot

 

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