With all of the 2012 MLB playoff teams decided, the only thing left for the final day of the season is to see who clinches home field advantage in the opening rounds, and who takes a wildcard position as opposed to winning the division outright.
Teams Who Have Clinched Their 2012 MLB Playoff Berth:
- New York Yankees (AL East)
- Baltimore Orioles (AL East)
- Detroit Tigers (AL Central)
- Texas Rangers (AL West)
- Oakland Athletics (AL West)
- Washington Nationals (NL East)
- Atlanta Braves (NL East)
- Cincinnati Reds (NL Central)
- St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central)
- San Francisco Giants (NL West)
2012 MLB Playoff Scenarios:
It’s crazy, but the only thing that we know for sure at this point, is that the Cardinals and Braves will face off in Atlanta in the first ever one-game MLB wildcard playoff game. The rest of the postseason matchups in the 2012 MLB playoffs are up in the air*.
*We will keep these posts updated throughout the day as the playoff scenarios play out.
American League Playoff Scenarios
Let’s start in the AL East where the division winner is still undecided between the Yankees and Orioles.
- If the Orioles lose OR the Yankees win, then the Yankees will win the AL East and the Orioles will play in the wildcard game on Friday. The Wildcard opponent will be decided by what happens in the A’s Rangers matchup later on tonight.
- If the Yankees lose AND the Orioles win, there will be a tie atop the AL East and Baltimore and New York will have to play a tie-breaker game on Thursday to decide the division winner. The loser will play in the Wildcard game on Friday. The opponent will be decided by what happens in Oakland later on tonight.
Before we jump into potential American League Wildcard matchups, let’s get a grasp on what’s happening in the AL West.
- Currently, the A’s and Rangers are tied for the AL West, so today’s game is a winner-take-all.
- If the A’s Win, they will be division champs, and the Rangers would be the Wildcard team. No matter who the Rangers would play in the 2012 Wildcard game, they would have to travel since both the Yankees and Orioles would have a better record than them.
- If the Rangers Win, they will be division champs and the A’s would be the Wildcard team. The only scenario where Oakland would host the Wildcard game is if the Yankees, Orioles and A’s all lose tonight, which gives Oakland and Baltimore the same record. Oakland won the regular season series, however, giving them the tiebreaker and home field advantage for the game.
So How Will the AL Seeding Play Out?
- If the Yankees win on Wednesday, they will hold the best record in the AL and would be the #1 seed. They will play the winner of the Wildcard on the road to open the series in the new 2-3 format for the playoffs. The Tigers would then host the AL West Winner (Oakland or Texas).
- If the Yankees lose ANDthe Orioles win, there will be a three-way tie for best record between the Yanks, O’s and whoever wins the AL West.
- Scenario 1: Yankees win the American League East and the Rangers win the AL West. The Yankees are the #1 seed and play the wild-card winner. Rangers are the No. 2 seed and play at Detroit because the Yankees won the season series.
- Scenario 2: Yankees win the AL East and the A’s win the AL West. A’s are the No. 1 seed and play the wild-card survivor. Yankees are the No. 2 seed and face Detroit because the Yankees and A’s split the season series, but A’s had the better record in division games.
- Scenario 3: Orioles win the AL East and the Rangers win the AL West. The Rangers are the No. 1 seed and draw the wild-card winner. Orioles are the No. 2 seed and play Detroit because the Rangers won the season series.
- Scenario 4: Orioles win the AL East and the A’s win the AL West. A’s are the No. 1 seed. Orioles are the No. 2 seed. Same LDS matchups because the Orioles won the season series.
- If the Yankees and the Orioles both lose Wednesday then there’s a tie for the best record between the Yankees and the AL West champ (at 93-69).
- Under that scenario, the Yankees are the No. 1 seed if the Rangers win the West but fall to the No. 2 seed if the A’s win the West. The reason is explained in some of the tie-breaker scenarios above.
Hopefully the American League Playoff Scenarios didn’t confuse you too badly. Just so you know, the National League is considerably easier because division winners and wildcards are already decided. All that’s left is a bit of seeding.
National League Playoff Scenarios
Right now, the Nationals and Reds are tied for the best record in the NL. Here’s how things will shake out.
- If the Reds win AND the Nationals lose then the Reds are the No. 1 seed and play Sunday at the home of the wild-card survivor. The Nationals would claim the No. 2 seed and play Saturday in San Francisco against the Giants.
- If the Nationals win AND the Reds lose, then the Nationals are the No. 1 seed and visit the wild-card winner Sunday. The Reds are would fall to the No. 2 seed and start their Division Series Saturday, on the road against the Giants.
- If the Nationals and Reds finish tied, the Nationals would be the #1 seed and the Reds would fall to number 2. Washington won the regular season series between the two teams and thus claims the top spot.
Wasn’t that like a million times easier? I hope so. Now let’s enjoy some baseball today!