Since many of you have decided the Cubs are going to finish the season with five more losses, what would happen if every team in the NL playoff hunt finished 91-71? What would that look like? It would be chaos. Glorious chaos.
Because there’s only four remaining games between any of the six NL playoff contenders, it’s pretty straightforward how they can all finish with the same records.
Cubs 0-5 | 91-71 Brewers 0-4 | 91-71 Cardinals 4-0 | 91-71 Dodgers 3-1 | 91-71 Rockies 4-1 | 91-71 Barves 2-3 | 91-71
In that case, there’s a three-way tie for the NL Central, a two-way tie for the NL West and the Barves have already won the NL East, so they’re just hanging out to see where they get seeded.
First, you have to determine how to seed the three team “tournament” for the winner of the NL Central. In this case, the Cardinals would finish with the best intra-divisional record, so they get to choose if they want to play two home games, or one road game to win the division.
Even they and their glorious Best Fans in Baseball aren’t dumb enough to want two home games when that would mean winning an extra game, so that means that the Cubs and Brewers would play on Monday at Wrigley Field (because the Cubs won the season series head to head with Milwaukee). The winner would host St. Louis on Tuesday for the division title.
In the West, the Dodgers won the season series against the Rockies so those teams play a division title game at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
To determine the two Wild Card teams, you’ll need another three-team tiebreaker between the loser of Cubs/Brewers and the losers of the NL Central and NL West division championship games. Clear? Sure.
The seeding would be determined by the head-to-head records of the three teams involved, with the team with the best record choosing whether to play one road game or two home games.
So, on Wednesday, (assuming the team with the best head to head of the group is smart enough to pick the ‘one road game option’) the other two teams play. The winner of that game gets a wild card spot.
That pushes us to Thursday, which will make MLB Commissioner Tob Manford mad, because that’s supposed to be the NL Wild Card game day. But, tough crap. The loser of Wednesday’s game hosts the team that had the best head to head record and chose the one game option. The winner of that game is the other wild card team.
The handy MLB Tiebreaker Scenario webpage only gets as complicated as “four teams tie for division championship and two wild card spots.” This one is five teams tie for two division championships and two wild card spots. Looking at all of the scenarios, it looks to me like this is how it shakes out.
So then, where do the Barves fit in? Once you determine your four other playoff teams, the seeding is determined by head to head records of the three division champions, and whoever wins the Wild Card is seeded fourth because the Wild Card team is always seeded fourth in the Division Series round.
So it’s really just that simple.