How Does the Wild Card Work in MLB?

The American League is well known for its strong roster of teams. The National League, on the other hand, has a reputation for having weaker teams. But there is one team that could change this perception. The Oakland Athletics are the only team in the history of Major League Baseball that has qualified for the playoffs in every season that it has been active. The Athletics are currently sitting at 41-35, which would put them in a tie for first place with the Kansas City Royals.

In this article we will show you how to use the wild card in MLB, how to predict the outcome of the game, and how to bet on baseball.

Why Did the Wild Card Begin in 1995?

There were a couple reasons the wild card was added to the Major League Baseball.

The Major League Baseball’s new divisional system will consist of six divisions, with three teams from the American League and three from the National League.

How Does the Wild Card Work in MLB
How Does the Wild Card Work in MLB

As a fan, I have always enjoyed watching MLB as the regular season progresses and with the current format it is much easier to determine who will play in the post season. When I was growing up I would watch baseball throughout the year but once the playoffs began, the season was over. Now that the teams are placed into divisions and have only half of their season left the games become more fun to watch.

Another round of MLB playoffs would be lucrative for the league. The ratings would be higher, the ticket prices would be higher, and there would be more merchandising opportunities. When the wild card expansion was first introduced in 1994, it allowed the best record from a league with fewer than two teams in a division to go to a one-game playoff. The Wild Card was played from 1995 to 2002 in the old NFL. The rules were pretty simple for the Wild Card Game winner. The team with the best record (NL or AL) who did not win their division will play against the best record during the playoffs. Initially, this rule meant that a wild card team could not play against a division rival, but this later changed. For example, if the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox were playing in the same league, they would not play each other back in the day in the first round of playoffs.

The Expansion of Two Wild Cards per League in 2012

In November 2011, Major League Baseball announced that they will have two wild card teams make the postseason starting in 2012. This was done because the new format would give a team the ability to beat one of the top teams in the tournament while still playing an inferior team. If that team won, then they would play in the division series playoffs.

What about the 2020 October Classic?

In the 2020 postseason, due to the shortened season, Major League Baseball added two wild card teams in each league, resulting in an 18-team playoff. We didn’t just have three division winners, but we also had three second-place teams in that same division. We also had two teams with the best record in the league. It was an interesting experiment.

What Makes the Wild Card So Interesting?

It was an extra special playoff as one of the games had to go into extra innings before finally being decided. A critical game in the American League wild-card race is like an NFL playoff game for the AL Central Division, meaning this change is exciting for baseball fans and players. This one game format allows every pitch, every at-bat, and run to matter. It’s rare for baseball because the season is 162 games.

Adding another team into the mix meant more teams had a fighting chance to make it into this playoff game, which meant more free agency moves. Instead of teams selling players at the trade deadline in an attempt to improve their chances of winning the championship, more teams are now going all-out for the playoffs instead. This switch in mentality is great for fans to continue to watch their team play. Winning the one-game playoff game is going to immediately set you up for a disadvantage in the first round.

If you’re playing baseball and the visiting team is ahead in the game, you might need to use your best player as a pitcher, and it doesn’t necessarily mean your best player will It’s too bad the Wild Card Winner lost their first game. They are now at a disadvantage, and it’s fair since they didn’t win their division. How this one-game playoff will work is teams with a better record than the wild card team will play the wild card team.

If the teams are tied after five games, then a sudden death one-game playoff will be held. Teams are in round-robin play. A win will advance a team to the next round, a loss will eliminate a team, and a tie will go to a one-game playoff. You’ve got to get lucky sometimes to win the World Series. The best team usually comes from a wild card game, and if you don’t have any of those, you have to luck out. If the team is lucky enough to win the wildcard, then they’ll get to avoid the embarrassment of losing in their first playoff game. But if they lose, then that could make things much worse.

Has Any Team won the World Series as a Wild Card Winner?


The Houston Astros won the World Series as the 2017 Wild Card team. They won their first series after having been swept in their first three games in the 2015 playoffs. The Astros’ story isn’t unique; they were one of the eight teams to have made it to the World Series as a Wild Card team.

The Oakland Athletics were the first Wild Card team to win the World Series, winning it in 2014 over the Detroit Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles were the last team to win as a Wild Card, doing so in 2013 over the New York Yankees.


In Conclusion, The MLB playoffs add an exciting new twist to the long season of baseball. Most teams didn’t do any trades during the trade deadline, before 1995. Because the MLB magic number for winning your division didn’t happen. More teams will get a chance to make the playoffs. With the expansion of two wild cards in the AL and NL, more teams will have a chance to make the now fans can enjoy baseball’s playoffs like never before. Fans can experience the excitement of the World Series in the regular-season finale.

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