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How to fix the wild card and keep the baseball playoffs fair


Thank you, new readers here on Sports+ for taking a spin with me on one of my obsessions — and not one of those good obsessions like playing golf or collecting vintage trading cards.

No, this one is about the wild-card game. And my lingering concerns about not just fairness — though certainly fairness is central to this — but about the integrity of the 162-game season.

I am pretty sure that my suggested rule change is never going to be implemented because, obviously, it is not going to be in place in 2021, and there could be a new playoff system beginning next year because the collective bargaining agreement is 10 weeks from expiration.

But if the playoff system is going to stay 10-teams tight, which means two wild cards in each league, then what I would like to see is this: If the top-seeded wild card finished five or more games better than the lower seeded wild card, then rather than playing just a sudden-death game (as it is now), they would play essentially a best-of-two series in the higher seed’s home stadium in which the higher seed would have to win just once while the lower seed wins twice.


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