Sports
by AG on October 3, 2010

  • Giants win, Phillies win. The Giants win the NL West. The Padres win the Wild Card. The Braves are eliminated. No playoff games. The Padres and the Braves, tied for the Wild Card, would play a playoff game on Monday in Atlanta to determine who wins the Wild Card.
  • Giants win, Braves win. The Giants win the NL West. The Padres and the Braves, tied for the Wild Card, would play a playoff game on Monday in Atlanta to determine who wins the Wild Card. The Braves win the Wild Card. The Padres are eliminated. [THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED.]
  • Padres win, Braves win. All three teams would be tied at 91-71. The Padres and the Giants would play on Monday in San Diego to determine the NL West champion. The loser of that game would then travel to Atlanta to play the Braves in a second playoff game to determine the Wild Card winner.
  • Padres win, Phillies win. Padres win the NL West. The Giants win the Wild Card.


That last scenario might seem confusing because in that one, the Padres and the Giants would technically have the same record — so why wouldn't there be a playoff to determine the NL West champion? Because the Padres automatically would win the division by virtue of the head-to-head record with the Giants. The rules state that if both teams tied atop a division will make the playoffs — one by winning the division, one by Wild Card — then the head-to-head record is used to determine the division champ.

That, incidentally, is what would happen today in the AL East if both the Yankees and the Rays win their games today. They'd have the same records — 96-66 — but with Tampa Bay winning the head-to-head series this season, they'd automatically win the division title. If the Yankees win and the Rays lose, then the Yankees win the division.