Thursday, October 8, 2015

Why I don't like the MLB Wild Card game (imagine an NFL playoff lasting only 6 minutes?)

Playoffs happen in sports as a method to determine which team is better.  In one game of basketball or football, the better team will usually win.

In baseball, that is not the case--the outcome of a single contest has almost nothing to do with the overall quality of the team, and everything to do with who is pitching.  If you put the sports' best pitcher on the worst team, that team would still be favored in one game against anybody.

Case in point: The Astros beat the Yankees 3-0 because they started likely American League Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, who's now thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings against New York.  Over in the National League, the Cubs knocked off the Pirates 4-0 behind potential Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta (pictured), who hasn't surrendered a run to anyone in 31 innings.

A single baseball game is a ridiculously small sample size in relation to the length of a season--it's crazy for a "playoff" team's entire year to come down to so little.  It's the equivalent of an NFL postseason matchup lasting just five minutes and 56 seconds.  How dumb is that?

1 game/162-game schedule = 5:56/16-game schedule (60 minute games)

2011 - The problem with another Wild Card team
2013 - The oddities of baseball and the one-game playoff

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