Potential Scenarios for 2012 MLB Postseason Schedule
With only two days left in the MLB regular season, very few things are certain. We may know almost all of the teams who will be participating in the first-ever expanded postseason, but we don't know when and where they will be playing. Tuesday night's games have the potential of settling all of the final questions.
There are two potential tiebreakers, which would be played on Thursday, October 4. The Yankees currently lead the Baltimore Orioles by one game in the American League East. Even though both teams are assured of a playoff berth, they will play a one-game playoff to determine the division leader on Thursday if still tied. That game would be played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards .
In the National League, the St Louis Cardinals lead the Los Angeles Dodgers by two games for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. If the Cardinals lose their remaining two games and the Dodgers win their final two games, then a tiebreaker game will be played at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.
Friday Wild Card Games
We know that there will be two games played on Friday, and one of them will be hosted by the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Their opponent will either be the Cardinals or the Dodgers, and we could know that as early as Tuesday night or as late as Thursday night. If the Cardinals and Dodgers end up having to play a tiebreaker, then the flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta would seem to give a huge advantage to the Braves in this one-game elimination.
As for the American League Wild Card game, it is anyone's guess. If the standings hold up as they are now, then the Oakland A's would host the Orioles at O.co Coliseum in a Friday Wild Card game. The Orioles would also play on the road if their opponent is the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
If the Yankees are the Wild Card representative from the A.L. East, then the Bronx Bombers would win the tiebreaker against either Oakland or Texas and host the game at Yankee Stadium. This would mean that both the Athletics and Rangers should be hoping for the Orioles to win the American League East.
Saturday Divisional Series Games
There will be two games played on Saturday, October 6th, and we now know the location for each of those games. The Tigers will host the divisional winner with the worst record/tiebreaker status among the Yankees, Orioles, Rangers, and A's. The game will be played at Comerica Park, despite the fact that the Tigers will have a worse record than their opponent as the MLB is using a 2-3 format in the divisional series.
Likewise, the Giants will host either the Nationals or Reds at AT&T Park as the No. 3 seed in this year's playoffs. The Nationals and Reds are currently tied for the best record in the National League, with the Nationals owning the tiebreaker. The reward for the Nationals would be an extra day off and the ability to travel to Atlanta, St Louis, or Los Angeles for their first game on Sunday.
The Nats lost the season series to the Dodgers, so presumably Washington would rather see Atlanta and St Louis as the two Wild Card teams. The Nationals won each of the season series, plus the travel would be much more convenient.
Sunday, Sports Heaven
There will be four MLB playoff games played on Sunday, October 7th. Game Two of the divisional series hosted at Detroit and San Francisco, plus the Wild Card winners hosting the team with the best record in each league. With 12 NFL games on the slate as well, I know that I will be making sure that I get my to-do list done on Saturday morning so I can settle in for a fantastic sports weekend.
Paul Swaney is the founder of Stadium Journey, a sports travel site committed to giving fans all of the information they need to make the most out of their next live sports experience. Follow Stadium Journey on Facebook and Twitter.
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