Despite the excitement of the current one game, winner-take-all format, of Major League Baseball’s Wild Card playoff round, it has drawn criticism for having so much ride on a single game crap-shoot.
Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations, has a solution and it’s perfect. Epstein’s idea (as told by Bob Costas on “The Dan Patrick Show”) goes like this:
- Make the Wild Card a best-of-three series.
- The fist two games of the series would be held on the same day at the home ballpark of the Wild Card team with the better record. One game would be in the afternoon and one game would be that night.
- If a third game is needed, it would be held the next day in the home ballpark of the lower seeded Wild Card team.
Why this idea is great:
The biggest reason this works is that the season of these two playoff teams is no longer riding on one game in which one team might have a significant advantage based on how the pitching rotations line up. In addition, there is only one day added to the postseason as opposed 4-7 days if the Wild Card round was played one game per day or even extended to best-of-five.
This format also adds even more importance to teams winning their division as the Wild Card winner will be at a significant disadvantage if they have to use two or three of their starting pitchers before facing a well-rested division winner in the Division Series round.
The networks and the teams would also love this as they would get more games on television and more tickets to sell.
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