After the Cardinals' historic run from almost not even making the playoffs, it's clear anything can happen come October. What's even more interesting is the new MLB playoff rules
From increasing player salaries to the actual format of the playoffs, it's an entirely new ball game.
What You Need to Know
Each division winner will receive a first-round bye. Next, the two wild-card teams will play an elimination game in which the winner will play the top-seeded division winner (best record in their respective league).
With wild rule changes, anything can happen—especially in the elimination game. A wild-card team has made it to the World Series 10 times—winning five of them.
In fact, the 2002 World Series was played by both the National League and American League wild-card winners.
Coming into the 2012 Opening Day, here are the odds given to each team to win the World Series:
|Boston Red Sox||10:1|
|Chicago White Sox||80:1|
|Kansas City Royals||60:1|
|Los Angeles Angels||7:1|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||40:1|
|New York Mets||100:1|
|New York Yankees||7:1|
|San Diego Padres||100:1|
|San Francisco Giants||16:1|
|St. Louis Champions||35:1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||16:1|
|Toronto Blue Jays||60:1|
Anything can happen!
Source: Sportsbook.com (as of 03/29/12).