Three Way Tie For The NL Wild Card – What Happens Next?

By Paul DiSclafani:


On Sunday afternoon, the Mets (80-71) had a two game lead on the Cardinals and a one game lead on the Giants. After two disappointing defeats to the last place Braves, there is suddenly a three-way tie.  Sheesh…

Each team has 11 games left and if you are wondering what the Mets tie-breaking scenarios are, here is the reader’s Digest version:

  • Mets own the tie-breaker over the Giants because they won the season’s series, 4-3
  • The Mets and Cardinals split their series (3-3), so the next tie breaker is intra-division games
  • The Cardinals own the tie-breaker over the Giants because they won their season series, 4-3

The Mets have all 11 games remaining against the NL East and with two losses to Atlanta are now 33-32 (.507). The Cardinals are 36-30 (.545) against the NL Central with 10 games remaining against their Division.

In the event of a three-way tie, to determine seeding for “play-in” games, the head-to-head records would be used:

  • The Cardinals and Mets are 7-6 against both teams and the Giants are 6-8, so the Mets and Cardinals would have to play a game on October 4th to determine home field and the top Wild-Card position.
  • The Giants would then have to travel to play the LOSER of Mets-Cardinals on October 5th.
  • The winner of that game would play the top Wild-Card team on October 6th with the winner advancing to the NLDC against the Cubs.

As an example, if the Mets were to beat the Cardinals on 10/4:

  • The Giants travel to St. Louis for a game on 10/5
  • The winner travels to NY for the Wild-card game on 10/6.

Somehow, the two teams that have to play a game for home field advantage (the Mets and Cardinals) may have to play three consecutive games – the home-field game 10/4, the play-in game 10/5 and the Wild-Card game on 10/6. Then the winner has to go limping into the NLDC against the Cubbies.  You think the Cubs are rooting for a 3-way tie?

How does baseball continue to manhandle these types of things?


2 thoughts on “Three Way Tie For The NL Wild Card – What Happens Next?

  1. I like the idea of playing these games rather than just deciding the wild card through head-to-head records and a series of tie-breaking criteria. But if the Mets make it through to Wednesday for the wild card game, who is going pitch the most important game of the year?
    Lugo? Gsellman? Kevin James? Ron Darling?


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