The Really Still Hoping for a Three-Way Report

by Bill Chuck on September 28, 2013

How’s this for fantasy baseball?

With two games left:

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB
4  CLE 90 70 .562
5  TBR 90 70 .562
6  TEX 89 71 .556 1.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/28/2013.

The Rangers…

The Texas Rangers’ Alex Rios had a tiebreaking 7th inning RBI single and Texas defeated the Angels, 5-0. With their fifth consecutive win, the Rangers moved closer in the wild-card standings for the first time during their winning streak.

The Indians…

The Cleveland Indians pulled into a tie atop the AL wild card standings beating the Minnesota Twins,  12-6. Cleveland has won eight straight and 13 of 15, taking advantage of a schedule that ends with 10 games against Houston, the White Sox, and the Twins, the three worst teams in the AL this season.

The Rays…

R.A. Dickey finished his season 14-13 after the disappointing Toronto Blue Jays disappointed the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-3, stopping the Rays’ seven-game winning streak. Tampa Bay wasted a 2-0 lead and committed a season-high three errors.

Here’s where we stand this morning:

AL Home Field Advantage and Wild Card Standings

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road
1 BOS 97 63 .606 W 2 53-28 44-35
2 OAK 95 65 .594 W 1 52-29 43-36
3 DET 93 67 .581 L 1 51-30 42-37
4  CLE 90 70 .562 W 8 51-30 39-40
5  TBR 90 70 .562 L 1 51-30 39-40
6  TEX 89 71 .556 1.0 W 5 44-35 45-36
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/28/2013.

NL Home Field Advantage Standings

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road
1 ATL 95 65 .594 W 2 55-24 40-41
2 STL 95 65 .594 W 4 52-27 43-38
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/28/2013.

NL Wild Card Home Field Advantage Standings

Rk Tm W L W-L% Home Road
4  PIT 92 68 .575 50-31 42-37
5  CIN 90 70 .562 49-29 41-41
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/28/2013.

The Pirates are one win away from hosting a playoff game thanks to Marlon Byrd‘s three hits and a Pedro Alvarez two-run homer, leading Pittsburgh over the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 in a series that will decide which one hosts the NL wild-card game. Both teams clinched postseason berths this week.

If the Season ended today

In the AL:
The Rays and the Indians would meet in Tampa for the AL play-in game with the winner going to Fenway to face the Red Sox and the losers going home. The A’s and the Tigers would be meeting in Oakland in the other bracket.
In the NL:
The Reds and the Pirates would meet in the NL play-in game in Pittsburgh with the winner heading to Atlanta to face the Braves and the losers going home. The Dodgers and Cardinals would meet me in St. Louis, Louis, in the other bracket.

But the season doesn’t end today

In the AL

The Rays are in Toronto and Indians are in Minnesota, while the Rangers are at home against the Angels.

In terms of the top seeding: the Red Sox hold a tiebreaker over the A’s

In the NL
In the NL Wild Card, the Pirates could ensure themselves of the home field in Tuesday’s game with a win at Cincinnati.

In terms of the top seeding: the Braves hold a tiebreaker over the Cards

These games also matter today:

Affecting seeding and placement:
Red Sox at Baltimore
A’s at Seattle
Braves hosting the Phillies
Cubs hosting the Cards

Determining Home-Field Advantage in Two-Team Tiebreakers

1. Head-to-head winning percentage during the 2013 regular season.
2. Higher winning percentage in intradivision games.
3. Higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games.
4. Higher winning percentage in the last half plus one intraleague game, provided that such additional game was not between the two tied clubs. Continue to go back one intraleague game at a time until the tie has been broken.

In case of a three-way


1. All Three Clubs Have Identical Records Against One Another

• Club with highest winning percentage among three tied clubs in intradivision games chooses its designation, followed by the team with the next highest winning percentage in intradivision games. If any two of the clubs have identical winning percentages, then then the two-Club tiebreak rules will break that tie. If all three Clubs have identical winning percentages, then;

• Club with the highest winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games chooses its designation, followed by the team with the next highest winning percentage in intraleague games. If any two of the clubs have identical winning percentages, then then the two-Club tiebreak rules will break that tie. If all three Clubs have identical winning percentages, then;

• Club with the highest winning percentage in the last half plus one intraleague game, provided that such additional game was not between any of the tied Clubs, chooses its designation, followed by the team with the next highest winning percentage in the last half plus one intraleague game. Continue to go back one intraleague game at a time until the tie has been broken.

2. Three Clubs Do Not Have Identical Records Against One Another

• If Club 1 has a better record against Clubs 2 and 3, and Club 2 has a better record against Club 3, then Club 1 chooses its designation, followed by Club 2.

• If Club 1 has a better record against Clubs 2 and 3, and Club 2 and 3 have identical records against one another, then Club 1 chooses its designation. Clubs 2 and 3 would follow the two-Club tiebreak rules to break their tie to pick the next designation.

• If Club 1 and 2 have identical records against one another, but each has a better record against Club 3, then Clubs 1 and 2 would follow the two-Club tiebreak rules to break their tie to pick the first designation.

• If Club 1 has a better record against Club 2, Club 2 has a better record against Club 3, and Club 3 has a better record against Club 1; OR Club 1 has a better record against Club 2, Club 2 and 3 have identical records against one another and Club 3 has a better record against Club 1; OR Club 1 and 2 have identical records against one another, Club 1 has a better record against Club 3 and Club 2 and 3 have identical records against one another, then:

a. The Clubs will be ranked by their overall winning percentage amongst the other Clubs combined. The Club with the highest overall winning percentage in that group chooses its designation, followed by the team with the next highest overall winning percentage.

b. If two of the Clubs have identical winning percentages, then they would follow the two-Club tiebreak rules to break their tie to pick their designation.

c. If all three teams have identical winning percentages, then the tiebreak rules above (No. 1) for three clubs having identical records against one another should be followed.

Based on above: Numbers that matter

Head-to-Head Season Series Records/Combined Records :

TB won season series against CLE, 4-2; Combined Records: CLE: 7-5 (.583)

TEX won season series against TB, 4-3; Combined Records: TB: 7-6 (.538)

CLE won season series against TEX, 5-1. Combined Records: TEX: 5-8 (.385)

Sweet dreams are made of this

Because the Indians posted the highest winning percentage, they had the first choice of designation. The Indians opted to be Club 1. With the second-best record among the three Clubs, the Rays opted to be Club 2. The Rangers received the remaining designation as Club 3.

What it means if there is a three-way tie:

The Rays would play the Indians in Cleveland on Monday. The winner of that game gets the first wild-card spot while the loser plays the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday. The winner of that game gets the second wild-card spot.

If there is a two-team tie for the second wild-card spot
The tiebreaker game will be played Monday.

2013 postseason start dates

  • NL Wild Card Game: Oct. 1 / AL Wild Card Game: Oct. 2
  • NL Division Series begin: Oct. 3 / AL Division Series begin: Oct. 4
  • NL Championship Series begins: Oct. 11 / AL Championship Series begins: Oct. 12
  • World Series begins: Oct. 23

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