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Thread: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

  1. #1
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    With an eight game lead and the magic number now down to 10, it's time to start looking at potential tiebreaker scenarios for playoff seeding and home field advantage. More specifically, what happens if two division winners are tied at the end of the regular season? Who gets home field advantage?

    First, there is some information at Baseball Reference that is somewhat helpful: http://www.baseball-reference.com/ab...ion_ties.shtml

    Scenario #7: There is a two-way tie for highest winning percentage among Division winners and a tiebreaker is required to determine home field advantage in the Division Series.

    If one of the Division winners tied for the highest winning percentage is from the same Division as the Wild Card:

    The Division winner from the same Division as the Wild Card cannot play the Wild Card in the Division Series. The other Division winner tied for the highest winning percentage plays the Wild Card.

    If neither Division winner tied for the highest winning percentage is from the same Division as the Wild Card:

    A tiebreaker system will be used to determine which Division winner with the best record plays the Wild Card.

    The first tiebreaker will be head-to-head competition between the two Clubs during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Clubs with the higher winning percentage in intradivision games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in intraleague games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half plus one of intraleague games during the championship season. This process will be followed game-by-game until the tie is broken.
    This is where the Reds' dismal play against the NL contending competition could come back to haunt them a bit.

    Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco and Colorado ALL have head-to-head tiebreakers over the Reds. This means that if any of those two teams win their respective divisions and finishes tied with the Reds, they would have home field advantage over the Reds via H2H tiebreaker (provided it is a two-way tie, not a three-way tie).

    San Diego is the only team where the Reds have a shot to make things interesting. The Reds are 1-2 against the Padres but do have a pretty big three game series in San Diego next weekend. It is crucial for the Reds to win a minimum two outta three in that series.

    Let's assume that the Reds win two outta three in San Diego, the Padres still win the NL West and both teams finish the season with identical records. Also, for simplicity, assume the Phillies have the best record in the NL and win outright home field advantage. For the Reds vs. Padres to determine the #2 seed and home field in the NLDS, their H2H would be 3-3, still tied.

    If the Giants win the NL Wildcard in this scenario, the NLDS would start with Phillies vs. Giants and Reds vs. Padres. It appears that the Reds would have home field over the Padres by virtue of intradivision records; the Reds are 42-25 vs. the NL Central whereas the Padres are 34-32 against the NL West. These records will change by the end of the season, but the Reds have a large lead.

    If the Braves win the NL Wildcard in this scenario, then the Phillies and Braves cannot play each other in the NLDS. It appears that the Reds would still win the tiebreaker over the Padres, and in this case, the NLDS would start with the Reds vs. Braves and Phillies vs. Padres.

    I'm saying appears here because I'm not entirely sure this scenario would play out, but this is my interpretation of the tiebreaker rule outlined above.

    Moving on ...

    What happens if all three division winners are tied?

    Scenario #8: There is a three-way tie for highest winning percentage among Division winners and a tiebreaker is required to determine home field advantage in the Division Series.

    The tied Club that has a better record against both of the other Division champions during the championship season will be deemed to have the higher winning percentage. The tie between the two remaining Clubs shall be broken as follows:

    The first tiebreaker will be head-to-head competition between the two Clubs during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in intradivision games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in intraleague games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half plus one of intraleague games during the championship season. This process will be followed game-by-game until the tie is broken.

    If none of the three tied Clubs has a better record against both of the other Division champions during the championship season, then the Club deemed to have the higher winning percentage shall be:

    The tied Club with the higher winning percentage in head-to-head competition among the tied Clubs during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in intradivision games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in intraleague games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games during the championship season. If the Clubs remain tied, then the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half plus one of intraleague games during the championship season. This process will be followed game-by-game until the tie is broken.
    This scenario appears to play out similarly as the two-way tie.

    The Phillies and Braves each have H2H advantages over the Reds. They also each have H2H advantages over both the Padres and Giants. That means the NL East winner will win outright home field advantage.

    If the Reds can beat San Diego two outta three, then the Reds would have the tiebreaker for the #2 seed. If the Giants win the NL West and tie the Reds, the Giants own the tiebreaker for the #2 seed. If the Rockies win the NL West and tie the Reds, the Rockies own the tiebreaker for the #2 seed.

    So based on all of this, my educated guess on what to root for:

    1) The Reds to just win as many as possible in order to finish a game up on as many teams as possible so they can avoid this scenario (obvious)

    2) The Reds need to win two outta three against the Padres, and then we need the Padres to win the NL West. This would give the Reds a tiebreaker over the Padres and force the Padres to beat the Reds by one game in the standings.

    Disclaimer: I could be totally wrong on all this, which is one reason why I'm posting it as I'd actually like to know if this is all correct!
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  3. #2
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Great analysis Cyclone, but the Padres series is 4 games.
    I guess a split is still good?
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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Great analysis Cyclone, but the Padres series is 4 games.
    I guess a split is still good?
    I'm only seeing a three game series, Friday through Sunday, September 24th through 26th. That'd be six games total on the season vs. the Padres, and we need to ensure that we're at least 3-3 against them.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    I'm only seeing a three game series, Friday through Sunday, September 24th through 26th. That'd be six games total on the season vs. the Padres, and we need to ensure that we're at least 3-3 against them.
    You're right of course. Don't know why I thought it was four.
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Gad. This makes my head hurt. Someone did some serious thinking about all this.

    At least it doesn't come down to a coin flip like it does in the NFL.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  7. #6
    The Future is Now Ghosts of 1990's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    At the end of the day, you're going to have to win games on the road and you're going to have to beat good teams. We can want to tip-toe around playing good teams on the road in the playoffs if we want; but the reality in baseball postseasons just like life is there is no hiding; you must face your fears.

    If this team is special, they'll find a way to get it done on the road in the postseason. If not they'll go home. The record against Philly and Atlanta is misleading. We dropped VERY close games to these teams especially on the road earlier this year. It was more than coin flip. Same could be said about a few of the wins.

    I think when the dust settles if we're healthy we're right there with the elite in the NL this season. The only reason I'd like to avoid a San Francisco or a Philadelphia is because of the arms they can throw at us to get an early series lead. That's my only thoughts on the entire subject.
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    It is crucial for the Reds to win a minimum two outta three in that series.
    It's crucuial to get into the playoffs.

    It's nice to have home field advantage.

  9. #8
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Refresh my memory on what home field advantage is. I take it we're talking about a 5 game series and the team with home field advantage gets games 1,2 and 5 at home?

    In a 7 game series the home advantage team gets games 1,2,6 and 7 at home. Do I have it right?

  10. #9
    Blowing away bad memories Redsfan320's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Playoff Seeding Tiebreakers

    Yes, Sea Ray, that's how it works.

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