Wild Card Playoff Scenarios For the Blue Jays

If the Toronto Blue Jays fail to make the playoffs in 2021, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves. This final week of the season, the Jays have three games at home against the Yankees, one of the teams they are chasing for a wild card spot. Win, and good things will happen. Lose, and their fans are looking at the hockey schedule.

The Jays are 21-10 since August 28, and they’ve crawled their way into the mix in the AL Wild Card race. Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Robbie Ray have led the way as the Jays have muscled alongside the Yankees, Red Sox, and now even the Mariners in the race for two playoff spots. There’s even a chance that we may see some sort of tiebreaker for the wild card.

What Happens If We Need a Tiebreaker To Determine the Wild Card?

Entering Wednesday’s games, the Yankees are two games ahead of Boston sitting in the first wild card spot. The Red Sox are 1/2 game ahead of the Mariners, and one game ahead of the Blue Jays. Every team has five games left to play, except the Mariners, who have four.

What if two or more teams tie for one or two wild card spots?

If two teams finish in the wild card spots with the same record, the team that had the better season record in head-to-head matchups serves as the home wild card.

If one game is needed to break a tie for the second wild card between two teams, it will be played next Monday, hosted by the team that won the season series against the other. If a further tiebreaker is needed, it’s the best winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games. The winner secures the second wild card spot.

If Three Teams Tie For Two Wild Card Spots

If three AL teams tie for the wild card, a two-game tournament will commence to determine which of the teams advance to the wild card game.

  • The team with the best regular-season head-to-head record against each of the others would get what amounts to the No. 1 pick in the tiebreaker draft. It could choose to be Club A, Club B or Club C.
  • Club A gets to host the first tiebreaker game against Club B on Monday. The winner advances to the wild-card game.
  • The loser of Monday’s game would go on the road to face Club C the next day. The winner of that contest would advance to the wild-card game to face the first winner.

The Blue Jays hold the regular-season advantage over New York but not over Boston, so in a three-team playoff with their division rivals, they would get to choose between Club B and C. If they chose to be Club C their bullpen would get an extra day of rest, and possible AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray would start in front of a large and loud Rogers Centre crowd in Toronto.

If the Blue Jays tied with the Yankees and Mariners, they would choose third in a tiebreaker draft. That would most likely mean they would be Team B, with only one chance on Monday (on the road) to advance to a Tuesday wild card playoff.

Three-Team Tie For Second Wild Card Spot

In this scenario, MLB needs to eliminate two teams to get the one that will play in the wild card game. In this scenario, either Club A and B would have to win two games just to get to the wild-card game. A and B would face off in a win-or-go-home game, and the winner would host C, with the victor there going on the road to face the top wild card. If the Jays are in this mix with the Red Sox and Yankees, they would be the second team to pick their A,B, or C designation.

Four Teams Tie For Two Wild Card Spots

Club A would host Club B. Club C would host Club D. The winners would play in the wild-card game. The winner of that would face the Rays.

There are other scenarios, including a chaotic one where all five teams in the hunt tie for the two wild card spots. It’s so unlikely that MLB hasn’t even released a schedule for that possibility.

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