Earlier this week, we looked at the possible playoff implications of the end-of-season match ups that Major League Baseball has scheduled for the conclusion of the 2012 season. Yesterday, the postseason schedule was released, setting aside October 4th, the day after the final games of the regular season are played, as the day in which tie breakers, if ties should occur, will be battled out.

As we all know, MLB has instituted a new format this year by adding a Wild Card play-off (not in) between two non-division winners. This addition is a bit more complicated this season than it will be in the future because the 2012 schedule was drafted before the the new format was announced. That’s why we’re seeing the this-year-only home/away format for the Division Series of two home games for the lower seed, followed by three home games for the higher seed.

Adding even more possible complications is that before any playoff game can be played division title ties must be decided on the field with a tiebreaker game under the new format, and not by head-to-head record, which has been used since 1995 to determine first place if both teams are going to the postseason. With the start of a one-game, winner-take-all wild-card round, the difference between first place and a Wild Card berth is too important to decide without an actual tiebreaker game.

As things stand right now, four different teams are within a game of each other for two Wild Card spots. If multiple teams are tied for this playoff slot, head-to-head records among the teams would determine seeding in a playoff. For instance, if three teams finish the season tied for two Wild Card places, Club A hosts Club B on October 4th, with the loser playing Club C on October 5th. Then on October 6th, the winners of these two games will play for the Wild Card, with the winner of this game starting the Division Series at home on October 7th.

It’s unknown what will happen if the losing teams involved in deciding a division winner would also need to take part in a multiple playoff to determine the Wild Card. Technically, we could see a team play four must-win games in a row, simply to make the playoffs.

Assuming this kind of craziness is avoided, both leagues’ Wild Card play-off (not in) game will be contested on Friday, October 5th, with the winners opening their respective Division Series on Sunday, October 7th. On the Saturday in-between, the other Division Series featuring the two division winners will begin. The Division Series will have its fifth games scheduled for October 11th and 12th, if necessary.

This will lead us to the League Championship Series, which will be played as follows:

  • Saturady, October 13th: The ALCS begins.
  • Sunday, October 14th: the NLCS begins.
  • If necessary, Game Seven for the ALCS and NLCS will be played on Sunday, October 21st and Monday, October 22nd, respectively.

This, of course, all leads up to the World Series:

  • Game One will be contested on Wednesday, October 24th in the National League representative’s park, mainly because of Melky Cabrera.
  • There will be an off day on Friday, October 26th.
  • Then, on Saturday, October 27th, the American League representative will play host for at least two games.
  • A Game Seven, if necessary, would eventually be played on Thursday, November 1st.

Goodbye October!

And The Rest

Baseball is a religion. And a fully accredited course at New York University. [New York Times]

Let’s show some love to Eric Chavez, one of my most favourite players this season. For the cheesy set: He may not be a regular on the field anymore, but he sure is a regular in our hearts. [Old Time Family Baseball]

Five radical things that the Toronto Blue Jays ought to do with what’s left of the 2012 season. [DJF]

The Luke Scott roster decision that the Tampa Bay Rays will have to make soon, will have multiple implications. [The Process Report]

No one knows when Andy Pettitte is going to return to the New York Yankees. [New York Post]

Atlanta Braves icon Chipper Jones just loves New York, and especially the Grand Hyatt hotel. [Amazin' Avenue]

The Washington Nationals are the best team in baseball, and they are in control. [Baseball Musings]

Jose Reyes is Jose Reyes again for the Miami Marlins. [Fish Stripes]

The Scott Podsednik came back, the very next day. He just couldn’t stay away. [Sons Of Sam Horn]

The San Diego Padres might want to rethink its job fair offers. [Deadspin]

Baltimore Orioles prospect Manny Machado got two hits in his debut last night. [Huffington Post]

Cleveland Indians CEO was rather dismal about the team’s losing streak. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]