So the Cubs and Astros are tied with three games left. I’m unfamiliar with how a tie at the end of the year would be handled. Enlighten me.
BONUS HYPOTHETICAL: The Cardinals are three games back. If the Cardinals should win the next three games, and the Cubs and Astros should BOTH lose the next three, thus creating a three-way tie, what happens?
One game playoffs would be on Monday Sept. 29
Houston and Chicago at Wrigley Field, Chicago
Houston and St. Louis at Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Chicago and St. Louis at Busch Stadium, St. Louis
If there is a 3-way tie, the three teams are seeded on the basis of combined head to head records. The Astros have the best record in head to head matchups among the three: 18-16. The Cubs are second at 17-16. The Cardinals are obviously third.
The Astros get an option. They can play the Cardinals at home and then if they win that game play the Cubs again at home OR, more probably, take a day off, watch the Cardinals play at Chicago and then the Astros would play the winner of that game at the other team’s park. You can either opt for two home games or win one road game if you have the best record.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that if two teams in the same division are tied at the end of the season, and the only question is which will be division winner and which will be wild card, the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head record rather than a one-game playoff. I’m not sure if there are other tie-breakers beyond that before a playoff game is required. This was mentioned with regards to the Yankees clinching the division; since they owned the tie-breaker vs. the Red Sox, they clinched once their record guaranteed a tie for division lead.
Since the wild card this year will evidently come from the NL East, this won’t be an issue in the NL Central.