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Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby mweir145 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:23 am

Urban Cohorts wrote:As a Sox fan, I LOVE this.

It now makes the Sox and Yankees rivalry that much sweeter. Now every game matters. Considering that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays win the wild card 90% of the time (rough estimate here), there will be no more mindset of "well we can win 95 games and make it into the playoffs". Now you have to win the division or be at a HUGE disadvantage going into the playoffs.

Though I do think a one game series is a tad crazy. Anything can happen in a one game series. It would make more sense to have a three game series. This would give a definite advantage for the division leaders over the wild card teams. In a three game series, the wild card teams would have to use (up to) their best three SP available. In a one game series, it doesn't have much impact for the division winners IMO.

Anything can happen in a three game series, too. A lot of luck is involved in a sample size of that size, so I think you might as well just have a single elimination game. There's also no need to hurt the wildcard teams anymore than you already are.
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby bayside » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:43 am

Urban Cohorts wrote: It would make more sense to have a three game series. This would give a definite advantage for the division leaders over the wild card teams. In a three game series, the wild card teams would have to use (up to) their best three SP available. In a one game series, it doesn't have much impact for the division winners IMO.

exactly.
not only does a one game playoff make zero sense from a sample size perspective, but it does almost nothing to give an advantage to the division winner in the first round.

the wild card matchups should be a 3 game series at minimum (5 would be better), with no days off between games. if you're going to make winning your division more meaningful, then dammit, make it more meaningful.
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby kab21 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:14 am

bayside wrote:
Urban Cohorts wrote: It would make more sense to have a three game series. This would give a definite advantage for the division leaders over the wild card teams. In a three game series, the wild card teams would have to use (up to) their best three SP available. In a one game series, it doesn't have much impact for the division winners IMO.

exactly.
not only does a one game playoff make zero sense from a sample size perspective, but it does almost nothing to give an advantage to the division winner in the first round.

the wild card matchups should be a 3 game series at minimum (5 would be better), with no days off between games. if you're going to make winning your division more meaningful, then dammit, make it more meaningful.


I disagree. it's definitely not a benefit to have 5 off days at the end of the season. The division winner gets a huge benefit with a one game series. It doesn't have to play in a 50/50 one game series. It gets two extra off days and no travel. And the wild card has to use their best pitcher in that game meaning that the division winner will only face someone like Verlander once in a series.
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby bayside » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:51 am

thats true, but im talking about an advantage for the division winner once one of the wild card teams has already advanced to the next round. obviously its better for the division winner not to have to roll the dice in a single game playoff.

for the wild card winner, there would be no off days between the end of the season and the beginning of the the division series (unless one team wins the first 2 games in which case they would get one day off). the wild card series should start the day after the regular season ends, and be scheduled for 3 consecutive days immediately prior to the first division series game. this would mean only 1 extra day over a single game playoff

and it would guarantee that the winner of the wild card series uses at least 2 starting pitchers, and possibly 3. it would ensure that any one pitcher for the wild card team would NOT be able to pitch twice in the division series unless
1) they started 3 times between the wild card and division series, twice in a row on short rest or
2) they didnt pitch at all in the wild card series, and then pitched a 2nd game in teh division series on short rest
which in either case is a big advantage for the division winner.

of course poor weather could wreak havoc with this schedule
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby raiders_umpire » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:10 am

mweir145 wrote:Yes, I think it helps the teams in the lesser divisions far more than it helps the Yankees/Red Sox. So in that way, I was glad to see them do this.

Now they've just got to help the teams that are in the Yankees/Red Sox division by creating a balanced schedule.



Hopefully that is coming in 2013 with the move of the Astros to the AL. ;-D
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby kab21 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:32 pm

bayside wrote:thats true, but im talking about an advantage for the division winner once one of the wild card teams has already advanced to the next round. obviously its better for the division winner not to have to roll the dice in a single game playoff.

for the wild card winner, there would be no off days between the end of the season and the beginning of the the division series (unless one team wins the first 2 games in which case they would get one day off). the wild card series should start the day after the regular season ends, and be scheduled for 3 consecutive days immediately prior to the first division series game. this would mean only 1 extra day over a single game playoff

and it would guarantee that the winner of the wild card series uses at least 2 starting pitchers, and possibly 3. it would ensure that any one pitcher for the wild card team would NOT be able to pitch twice in the division series unless
1) they started 3 times between the wild card and division series, twice in a row on short rest or
2) they didnt pitch at all in the wild card series, and then pitched a 2nd game in teh division series on short rest
which in either case is a big advantage for the division winner.

of course poor weather could wreak havoc with this schedule


Having 5 days would really suck for the rest of the division winners. And you push the playoffs almost another week into November. A 3 game series is a terrible idea imo.

I'm also not really sure you have thought your SP'ing argument thru. If possible teams will pitch their ace in game 1 (out of 3) so he will be ready again for the ALDS. If it's a 1 game series then he won't be able to pitch again until game 3/4.
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby Urban Cohorts » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:24 pm

kab21 wrote:I disagree. it's definitely not a benefit to have 5 off days at the end of the season. The division winner gets a huge benefit with a one game series. It doesn't have to play in a 50/50 one game series. It gets two extra off days and no travel. And the wild card has to use their best pitcher in that game meaning that the division winner will only face someone like Verlander once in a series.


I agree with the part of your post that says the division leader benefits from not having to play in a 50/50 one game series.

However, this will only benefit the AL West and AL Central winners because the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rays will win the wild card 90% of the time in the AL (possibly even the Jays). And since they cannot play each other in the round following the one match game, there is a built in handicap against the AL East teams. Great way to penalize the already toughest division in baseball.

I disagree with some other points. First, it may or may not be a benefit to have 5 days off once the season ends. Some pitchers and hitters play better with extra days off and some with less (when they stay in routine). You can't prove this one way or the other.

Secondly, the wild card team should be using their best SP in a 50/50 one game playoff series. However, I don't see this as being an advantage for the division winners. For instance, take the Red Sox vs. Rays in 2011. Both teams pitched their two best SP in the final 2 games of the season (Lester/Beckett and Shields/Price). Since the wild card could only go to 1 team (not both), they had to use BOTH of their aces. This led to Price starting game 3 of the ALDS and Shields starting game 2 on short rest.
Had both teams known that they would be in a 1 game series, none of those pitchers would have started over the last 2 games. Lester would have gone vs. Shields in the one game series and then you have Beckett or Price on full rest come the divisional series. So it seems to me that not having this one game playoff gives a larger benefit to the divisional winner that will be playing the wild card team. Because if two teams know they will be making the "one game elimination round", then they don't have to use their stud SP over the last 2-3 games of the season. The only "disadvantage" comes from both wild card teams having to play their ace in a 50/50 match. Rather than use their #1, #2, #3 guys over the last few games of the season. So it affects a team like DET way more than a staff with actual depth at SP.

And if you think I am incorrect in saying this, the let us take a look at wild card history over the last 5 years, which I feel is a valid base to start from. Not too far back, nor too short of an example.

For the AL/NL Wild Card over the last 5 years (assuming we use the new 50/50 match)-

1) There was only one instance where more than 2 teams were competing for the wild card. That was back in 2007, with COL slightly edging out both the Padres and Mets. So in this 1 instance of 10, those teams would have had to play their best guys in both the last 2-3 games of the regular season and in the one game playoff series. This would give a huge advantage to the division winner that would have to play the wild card team. Because that team would have burned ALL of its SP in the last 2 games plus the 50/50 match. But this happened only 10% of the time.

2) In 4 of 10 wild card scenarios, there were 2 clear cut teams competing for the wild card. In 2011 you have the Red Sox vs. the Rays (LAA were 5 games back) and the Cards vs. the Braves (San Fran was 4 games back). In 2010, you have the Braves vs. the Padres (Cards were 5 games back). And in 2008, you have the Brewers vs. the Mets (Houston was 3.5 games back). In all of these instances, these teams had a big enough lead to not have to pitch Aces over the last 2-3 games of the season because they would have all made the playoffs. So in this scenario, whoever wins the 50/50 match will have played their ace already and then start with the #2 guy in the rotation for the next round. Again, not a huge disadvantage unless you have 1 elite SP like Verlander.

3) In the other 5 of 10 games, the team that wins the wild card is SO far ahead of everyone else, that it would downright SILLY to have a one game playoff. For instance, in 2010 the Yankees won the wild card (Red Sox and White Sox were 6+7 games back). In 2009, the Red Sox won the wild card (Texas and Detroit were 8+9.5 games back) and the Rockies won the wild card (San Fran and Florida were 4+5 games back). In 2008, the Red Sox won the wild card (Yankees and Twins were 6+7.5 games back). In 2007, the Yankees won the wild card (Detroit and Seattle were both 6 games back). So in all of these instances, with maybe the exception of the 2009 Rockies, it would make no sense to have a single game playoff, as all of the other teams were very, very far back. Maybe with the only exception being the NL race in 2009 (San Fran was 4 games back). In all of the other scenarios, this new format would be pitting a clear cut better team versus a .500 team (or barely above) in a one game series. And in these scenarios, the scrub .500 teams will all be using their aces to try to get that last playoff spot, while the team that actually deserves to be in the playoffs merely rests all of their players and uses their ace in the 50/50 match. But then again, ANYTHING can happen in a 1 game series. I think it would be downright wrong for any clear cut wild card team, who posted a great record over a full season, to be denied a real playoff series due to the luck of a 1 game series with an average team.

A three game series (do double-headers in a neutral ball park [say half distance between both cities] if time is a problem) would remedy both #2 and #3.

In scenario 2, it would make teams have to use 2-3 SP, not just one. This would grant an actual benefit to whichever team they end up playing (in addition to travel time that the wild card team has to go through).

In scenario 3, a three game series would give a slightly better benefit to the clear cut teams who SHOULD be in the playoffs. Their good seasons wouldn't come down to a 1 game coin flip with a garbage team. The benefits of scenario 2 also apply here.

As it stands now, a one game series between two wild card teams only stands to benefit the division leader ~10% of the time. Certain circumstances have to be met- more than two teams have to be in the mix for the wild card, otherwise those two teams rest their squad, lose their ace in the 50/50 match, and go with their fresh #2 guy. Only a real impact maker if said teams have to have only one great SP (who they will spend in the 50/50 match). If they didn't have this 1 game, they would be forced to play all of their good SP down the stretch to win the ONLY playoff spot OR play all of their good pitchers in a 3 game series.

A three game playoff series would also generate more revenue for MLB. But this is not a great reason, just a small plus.

The downsides to a 3 game series are obviously- timing issues and in scenario 1. In that type of scenario (10% of the time) things would play out normally for the wild card winner. Three+ teams would all use their aces down the stretch, then be forced to pitch their #3-4-5 guy in the 50/50 match, and then start the divisional series with their #1 and #2 SP. But this hasn't happened often.
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby Urban Cohorts » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:07 pm

Urban Cohorts wrote:However, this will only benefit the AL West and AL Central winners because the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rays will win the wild card 90% of the time in the AL (possibly even the Jays). And since they cannot play each other in the round following the one match game, there is a built in handicap against the AL East teams. Great way to penalize the already toughest division in baseball.


Of course, MLB could always do the right thing by throwing out the silly rule that teams from the same division cannot play each other in the AL/NL Divisional Series.

I never understood why they do this. The best team should play the wild card team. Who cares if they happen to play in the same division.
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby bayside » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:09 pm

kab21 wrote:Having 5 days would really suck for the rest of the division winners. And you push the playoffs almost another week into November. A 3 game series is a terrible idea imo.

I'm also not really sure you have thought your SP'ing argument thru. If possible teams will pitch their ace in game 1 (out of 3) so he will be ready again for the ALDS. If it's a 1 game series then he won't be able to pitch again until game 3/4.

where are you getting 5 off days?
i thought i was pretty clear by saying the wildcard series would be played on 3 consecutive days, with no break after the regular season, and no break before the division series. that means only 3 days off for division winners. only 1 extra day

and like i said, that schedule means that the only way any wild card pitcher could start twice in the division series is if:
bayside wrote:1) they started 3 times between the wild card and division series, twice in a row on short rest meaning game 1 of wild card series + game 2 of division series + game 5 of division series - but all division starts would have to be on short rest, a huge disadvantage, and not all games are guaranteed. the series may well already be over.
or

2) they didnt pitch at all in the wild card series, and then pitched a 2nd game in the division series
they could pitch game 1 and game 5 of division series - granted it would not be on short rest, but if the ace is not pitching in the wild card series, then his team has slim hope of advancing to the division series anyway
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Re: Possible playoff change +2 Wild Card

Postby kab21 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:37 pm

It's 5 days because they will at least give the wild card travel days.
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