MLB Announces How 3-Way AL Wild-Card Tiebreaker Would Be Settled

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIISeptember 27, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays is greeted by Wil Myers #9 and James Loney #21 after hitting a three run home run in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The race for the MLB playoffs in the American League is heating up as the 2013 regular season winds down. With the addition of a second wild-card team last year, though, there has been discussion as to how a three-way tie would be determined for the last clubs in.

As reported by Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, MLB announced Friday what the scenarios would be involving the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers.

After Friday's games, Tampa Bay and Cleveland are tied atop the AL wild-card standings, with the Rangers sitting just one game back of them both.

This is what the current situation would be, per Davison:

Cleveland would host Tampa Bay to determine one of the wild cards on Monday; the loser of that game would then play at Texas on Tuesday to determine the second wild card.

The two winners would be re-seeded for the wild card game on Wednesday based on season series. Therefore, the Rangers would host the Rays after going 4-3 against them this season, and would be at Cleveland after going 1-5 against them.

* If two teams tie for the second wild card, home-field would be determined by the season series and played on Monday. Texas would host Tampa Bay, and be at Cleveland should that scenario unfold. The winner would then travel to the No. 1 wild card destination for a game Wednesday.

The Indians seem to be peaking at the right time as the team is riding an eight-game winning streak. Though the Rays have been on fire of last as well, winning seven of their last eight. 

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 28:  Carlos Santana #41 and Yan Gomes #10 of the Cleveland Indians celebrate after scoring during the sixth inning as relief pitcher Robbie Ross #46 of the Texas Rangers walks back to the mound at Progressive Field on July 28, 2013 in
Jason Miller/Getty Images

But neither team can afford to let up because the Rangers have rattled off five consecutive victories of their own.

Texas has an advantage in the sense that it hosts the Los Angeles Angels in the final two regular-season games in Arlington.

The Rays are on the road for two games at the Rogers Centre against the AL East rival Toronto Blue Jays, and the Indians finish up the season with the Minnesota Twins.

This battle for a shot to get into the exclusive playoff field will be fascinating to watch unfold over the weekend. Baseball fans are in for some exciting extra action as the final five AL squads are determined.