let the chaos ensue
Major League Baseball has never had a postseason tie-breaker scenario in which more than two teams were locked in the standings. After Sunday, there could be a four-way draw.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees sit atop the American League Wild Card standings at 91-70. If they both win they're in, and the ancient rivals will square off against each other at Fenway Park on Tuesday. But if one or both of them loses, chaos could ensue.
The Toronto Blue Jays and this year's "Cinderella," the Seattle Mariners — who are seeking their first playoff appearance since 2001 — are both still alive at 90-71. If they both win, and Boston and New York both lose, the four teams would all end up deadlocked at 91-71, and they'd have to duke it out in a mini March Madness-style single-elimination tournament starting on Monday. The team with the best winning percentage in common games among the four teams would choose its opponent and the winner of that game would play the winner of the contest between the remaining two in the official A.L. Wild Card game. There are several other scenarios in play, as well, including three-way ties and a more traditional head-to-head tie-breaker. If that all sounds a bit complicated, check out the breakdown below. And if analyzing the graphic doesn't make it any less confusing, just let the process unfold and roll with it.
First pitch of every MLB game on Sunday will take place during the 3 p.m. ET hour. The Yankees will take on the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox face off against the Washington Nationals, the Blue Jays host the Baltimore Orioles, and the Mariners will look to beat the Los Angeles Angels.