Pirates, Cardinals, And Cubs May Expose MLB Playoff System


MLB may be experiencing one of the worst case scenarios for their current playoff system.

More from Pittsburgh Pirates

The NL Central currently has the 3 teams with the best records in the National League. Of all the American League teams, only the Kansas City Royals (73-47) have a slight edge over the Pirates (72-47) and Cubs (68-51).

There are still 43 games remaining, so much could change.

But just for fun, let’s run through the NL playoffs if the season had ended yesterday.

The NL Wild Card playoff would be the Chicago Cubs traveling to PNC Park to face the Pirates. This would be a single elimination game, where the loser’s season is over. In this case, one of the top 4 teams in the MLB would be gone from the beginning.

Let’s assume the Pirates knock off the Cubs, as Gerrit Cole outduels Jake Arrieta.

The No. 1 overall team, the St. Louis Cardinals (77-43) would be rewarded with the Pirates (73-47), a divisional foe and the next best team in the National League.

On the other side, the Los Angeles Dodgers (67-53) would have home-field against the New York Mets (64-56). Two teams with worse records than both wildcard teams are rewarded a series based on winning the division.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates swept the Mets 6-0 in the season series, and the Cubs beat the Mets 7-0 in their season series. Yet, the Mets get a series and the Pirates play the Cubs in a 1-game sudden death. The Cubs are 2-2 against the Dodgers, whereas the Pirates are 3-0.

In most years, this playoff format works out fine, but 2015 may be an exception.

Should MLB debate whether a winner of a weaker division could be placed into a wildcard scenario if two teams from a specific division, like the NL Central, have better records? In the current situation, three teams from one division have better records than both of the other division winners.

Will this be a hot debate in late September, or will the rest of the season balance it out?  Should the wildcard playoff be a 3-game series?

Next: Pitt Vs. Penn State Or WVU? Who Would You Want?

More from City of Champions