Playoff scenarios: Tigers will open at Oakland, wild card gets even wilder

Thearon W. Henderson

The Oakland A's lost in Seattle on Saturday, making it official that the Tigers will open the ALDS at Oakland on Friday. The Indians and Rangers won, while the Rays lost. Here is what happens in every possible scenario.

The Tigers will play the Oakland A's in Oakland on Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5 in the American League Division Series (ALDS) while the Boston Red Sox will host the winner of the wild card playoff game. Oakland lost to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, 7- 5, ceding the # 1 seed in the American league to Boston. The A's will be the # 2 seed and will host the # 3 Tigers.

The wild card picture got even wilder on Saturday, as the Tampa Bay Rays dropped their second straight game in Toronto to fall into a tie with the Texas Rangers for the second and final wild card spot. The Rangers beat the Angels in Texas, 7- 4 for their sixth straight win. The Cleveland Indians took sole posession of the first wild card spot, at least temporarily, by beating the Twins in Minnesota, 5- 1. The win was the ninth straight for Cleveland.

So here are the possible scenarios with one game remaining on the schedule.

A two way tie for both wild card spots will result in both teams playing in the wild card playoff game. Home field will be determined by a two team tiebreaker formula.

A two way tie for the second wild card spot will result in a one game playoff with home field determined by a two team tiebreaker formula.

A three way tie for both wild card spots will result in a two game playoff prior to the one game wild card playoff. The Rays would play at Cleveland with the winner hosting the wild card playoff game. The loser would play at Texas with the winner of that game playing at the winner of the first game.

The two team tiebreakers go like this

Cleveland beats Texas based on head to head record

Texas beats Tampa Bay based on head to head record

Tampa Bay beats Cleveland based on head to head record

So here is the chart for the eight possible scenarios:

Indians at Minnesota Angels at Texas Rays at Toronto Play in game(s) Wild Card Game Oct 2
Indians win Rangers win Rays win Rays at Texas Monday Winner at Cleveland
Indians win Rangers win Rays lose None Rangers at Cleveland
Indians win Rangers lose Rays win None Rays at Cleveland
Indians win Rangers lose Rays lose Rays at Texas Monday Winner at Cleveland
Indians lose Rangers win Rays win 3 way tie. See below See below
Indians lose Rangers win Rays lose None Rangers at Cleveland
Indians lose Rangers lose Rays win None Cleveland at Tampa
Indians lose Rangers lose Rays lose Rays at Texas Winner at Cleveland

In case of a three way tie, here is the schedule:

Monday- Game 1; Rays at Cleveland, winner hosts wild card game

Tuesday- Game 2: Game 1 loser at Texas, loser is out

Wednesday- Winner of Game 2 at Winner of Game 1

Friday, Saturday- Wild card winner at Boston

Following is the Schedule for the ALDS

Game 1 Detroit @ Oakland
Fri, Oct 4
TBS or MLBN***
Game 2 Detroit @ Oakland
Sat, Oct 5
TBS
Game 3 Oakland @ Detroit Mon, Oct 7
TBS or MLBN***
Game 4* Oakland @ Detroit Tue, Oct 8
TBS
Game 5* Detroit @ Oakland Thu, Oct 10
TBS

*If necessary

Game times have not yet been announced. The wild card winners will play Boston on the same dates.

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