Major League Baseball today announced the Tiebreaker sequence that will be played if the regular season concludes in a three-way tie between the Cleveland Indians, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers for the two American League Wild Card playoff berths. Such a scenario would require Tiebreaker games to be played on both Monday and Tuesday before Wednesday's American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser. Any Tiebreaker game(s) and the Wild Card Games presented by Budweiser will exclusively be televised by TBS.
If the three Clubs are tied after Sunday's games, then the tie will be broken using the following system. Since the three Clubs each won one season series and lost one season series against each other in head-to-head competition in the regular season, MLB will use a system of designations - as Club A, Club B or Club C - based on their combined winning percentages in head-to-head competition against one another in the regular season.
Club A would host Club B on Monday, with the winner earning a Wild Card. The loser of Monday's game would then play at Club C on Tuesday, with Tuesday's winner earning the other Wild Card. Home-field advantage in Wednesday's A.L. Wild Card Game would be determined by the head-to-head record between the two Clubs that earned the Wild Card berths.
The relevant winning percentages are:
Head-to-Head Season Series Records:
TB won season series against CLE, 4-2;
CLE: 7-5 (.583)
TEX won season series against TB, 4-3;
TB: 7-6 (.538)
CLE won season series against TEX, 5-1.
TEX: 5-8 (.385)
- Because the Indians posted the highest winning percentage, they had the first choice of designation. The Indians opted to be Club A.
- With the second-best record among the three Clubs, the Rays opted to be Club B.
- The Rangers received the remaining designation as Club C.
Thus, if the three Clubs are tied after Sunday's games, then the Indians would host the Rays on Monday, with the winner becoming an A.L. Wild Card. The losing Club in Monday's game would then play against the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday, with the winner of that game becoming the other A.L. Wild Card.
In the event of a two-team tie for one Wild Card berth, the Tiebreaker game would be played on Monday and hosted by the Club that won the season series between the two Clubs.
TBS and ESPN Radio will provide exclusive coverage of Tiebreaker games and the Wild Card Games presented by Budweiser.