Major League Baseball just announced what we all expected -- they will add a second wild card team. The only thing new is that just for this season, the division series format will have the higher seeded teams starting with two games on the road before three at home in the best-of-five. This was done for logistic purposes.
Next year, it will be back to the 2-2-1 format, with the higher seed starting at home. I went into the impact of the extra wild card in our 25Q/25D series.
But here is a snippet of what I wrote:
What the new wild card does is adds greater importance to the regular season. There will be no choice, but to go all out to win your division.
Yes, there are two safety nets, but the wild card puts teams at a severe disadvantage – not the least of which is one club will be one and done.
While we painted a worst-case scenario above, there could be a huge advantage for a Yankee team that doesn’t appear to have any severe holes from 1-through-25 and is certainly the favorites in the AL East.
If they win the division and have the best record, they very well could face the winner of the wild card game, which would likely mean a team that has to play its way into the playoffs down the stretch and then win a game for the privilege of coming to the Bronx. That would seemingly be a huge advantage.
The emphasis on winning the division is one thing, the other aspect of the extra wild card is that the trade deadline will change because more teams will be in it in July and through September.
Jayson Stark has more here.
Question: Do you think the new wild card is good or bad for the Yankees?