Tiebreaker games will no longer be utilized to settle ties in the standings at the end of the regular season once the postseason field is expanded from 10 to 12 teams in 2022. That implies there will be no more “Game 163.”
Instead, ties will be broken using arithmetic, with particular regular-season results deciding final standing or seeding.
This change was made to ensure that the postseason begins as soon as the regular season ends and that division winners with byes during the Wild Card Series round are not forced to sit idle for any longer than is fair or necessary.
The several modifications to the format and regulations of this year’s MLB postseason have caused quite a stir. With that in mind, let’s look at how tiebreakers for wildcard berths and division winners will be determined.
How Will Tiebreakers Work in the 2022 MLB Playoffs?
When sources revealed that the MLB postseason field would be increased from 10 to 12 clubs in 2022, they also said that tiebreakers would no longer be utilized to resolve standings ties when the season ended.
With no more “Game 163,” we now have a scenario in which ties are broken by good old-fashioned mathematics, as well as particular regular-season results.
Standing/seeding will be determined by the combination of the two.
Why was this adjustment implemented? To be honest, to hasten the entire process.
By adopting this system, the league can now enable a timely start to the postseason while also eliminating the potential that division champions with byes during the Wild Card Series sit idle for too long.
It would not be fair or necessary for them to do so.
How to Determine Playoff Tiebreakers
If you’re looking for a comprehensive discussion of the modifications MLB has made to the postseason format, go here.
If, on the other hand, you already know but are unsure about the tiebreaker situation, then let’s get started.
To begin, if there is a tie at the top of the division, a tie for the final Wild Card spot, a tie between two division winners (with seeding at stake).
or any other type of tie that may affect the playoff field, the MLB has stated that the tiebreaker will be determined in the following order:
1. Head-to-Head Record
The result of the season series between the tied teams is the first and easiest tiebreaker. If Team X and Team Y tie for first place in the division and Team X wins 10-8 versus Team Y, Team X wins the division.
If Teams X, Y, and Z all finish tied for first, the team with the highest combined winning percentage against the other two clubs wins the division.
2. Intradivision Record
If the head-to-head record is also tied, the records of the clubs participating within their division will be used to break the tie.
This is true even if the tie is for a Wild Card position between two clubs from different divisions. The tiebreaker would be decided by the club with the better intradivision record.
3. Interdivision Record
If the clubs involved have a head-to-head and intra-division record time, the tie will be decided based on how they performed against opponents within their league but outside of their division.
So it would be the record versus clubs from the AL Central and AL West for an AL East squad.
4. Last Half of Intraleague Games
If the interdivision record is also tied, the next tiebreaker will be determined by the clubs’ last-half records against league opponents.
It should be noted that these are mathematically the records from the second half of games, not just the games after the All-Star break.
5. Last Half of Intraleague Games Plus One
If the records of the teams engaged in the second half of intraleague games are likewise tied, the result of the final game in the first half of intraleague games is utilized.
If that too ends in a draw, the prior intraleague game on the schedule is played. This cycle is continued until the tie is broken.
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