Other than generating more revenue, I don't see any reason for the new one-game wild card round of playoffs that Major League Baseball has introduced this year. Any team, including the MLB-worst Houston Astros, can win one game; they did it 55 times this season. A lucky break or a bad umpiring call can end one team's post-season in three hours.
Everything seems to have worked out as it should in the National League. The three divisions have been won by the teams with the three best records in the league and the wild cards are the two next-best teams. If five teams are going to compete, they should be and are those five.
Not so in the American League. The winners of the East and West divisions are still to be determined on the last day of the season. Three of these four teams have identical records at the moment, with the Yankees only one win better than the Orioles, Rangers and A's. What happens tonight will determine which two will play the wild card game on Friday, after which, one of them will be done for the season.
Okay, that is also as it should be and makes for some great baseball.
But let us consider the American League Central Division, which has already been won by Detroit. The Tigers have the seventh-best record in the American League, with fewer wins than the aforementioned quartet of teams. They also will end the season with fewer wins than the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels, both of which have already been eliminated from postseason play! And after the playoff game on Friday, a third team with a better record will also be gone before the Tigers even take the field!
And what happens if the Tigers go on a tear, make it through the playoffs and win it all? Then the World Series winner will be the team with the eleventh-best record in baseball!
Yeah, that makes sense.