With the close wild-card battle going on between the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers heading down the stretch, an interesting scenario is emerging as a very real possibility. Tampa Bay and Texas finished their season series earlier this week. With that, should all three teams have identical records after Game #162, the following tiebreaker scenario between the Rays, Indians, and Rangers has solidified.
The first tiebreaker to determine how to proceed is head-to-head record between the three teams. Here are those results.
Cleveland has a 7-5 record (5-1 v. TEX, 2-4 v. TB) Tampa Bay has a 7-6 record (4-2 v. CLE, 3-4 v. TEX) Texas has a 5-8 record, (4-3 v. TB, 1-5 v. CLE)
As a result of having the highest winning percentage, Cleveland becomes “Team A”. They would host a wild card play-in game against Team B, Tampa Bay.
The winner of this game would become Wild Card #1 and host the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 2nd. The loser would travel to Texas and play on Tuesday, October 1st. The winner of that game would become Wild Card #2 and travel to either Cleveland or Tampa the next day. The loser would go home.
The Indians currently lead Texas for the second wild card by 1.5 games and trail Tampa Bay for the first wild card spot by one-half game. Cleveland would lose a tiebreaker for hosting rights with Tampa and travel south for the wild card game. In turn, they would win a tiebreaker with Texas for hosting rights.
Cleveland is off today, while Tampa finishes its series with Baltimore and Texas opens a series with the Astros.
Kirk Lammers grew up on the Marblehead Peninsula and is a graduate of THE Ohio State University. He now lives in Northeast Ohio, and you can find him at the ballpark, at the Q, or far too often on Twitter (@WFNYKirk)."