What do you do if you do well in the regular season
The Texas Rangers advanced to the American League (AL) Championship Series for the first time in 12 years. The Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7 to 1 in the 3rd home game of the 2023 MLB (American Professional Baseball) AL Division Series (best of 5) held on the 11th (Korean time) and advanced to the league championship with 3 consecutive wins. The Rangers will compete for advancement to the World Series with the winner of the Houston Astros (2nd seed) and Minnesota Twins (3rd seed). Last year’s World Series champion Astros defeated the Twins 9-1 on this day and took the lead with 2 wins and 1 loss. The Rangers entered the ‘fall baseball’ stage as 2nd place in the AL West in the regular season (90 wins, 72 losses) and 2nd place in the wild card, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays (99 wins, 63 losses) in 2nd place in the AL overall, followed by the Orioles (101 wins, 61 losses) in 1st place. Even lost) was defeated.
As a team with a much higher regular season winning percentage collapses and loses its opportunity in the short-term postseason, some point out that the major league system needs to be overhauled. In the National League (NL), the Los Angeles Dodgers, 100-62 in the regular season, are on the verge of elimination after losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks (84-78) for the second straight season, and the Atlanta Braves, 104-58, also have one win against the Philadelphia Phillies (90-72). 1 loss recorded.
Since last year, the Major League has increased the number of wild cards from 2 to 3 teams. As the number of ‘fall baseball’ games increases, stadium admission revenue and TV broadcast fees increase. When there were two wildcard teams, the winner was determined through a single match. However, with the introduction of the best-of-three ‘Wild Card Series’ starting last year, the waiting time for the top two teams, which played well in the regular season and advanced directly to the division series, became too long. The assessment is that it is rather disadvantageous for maintaining a sense of the game. LA Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also reacted negatively, saying, “It’s good to rest for a few days, but five days is a bit…”
American broadcast media ABC quoted a column on the 11th saying, “The KBO (Korean Professional Baseball) League wild card format is worth considering.” In Korea, a single league, the teams ranked 4th and 5th in the regular season play a wild card match, and 4th place has the advantage of advancing to the semi-playoffs (quasi-PO) by winning one of the two games or drawing one. Moreover, it ends in a maximum of two days, allowing the team with the highest winning percentage to maintain their senses and gain a physical advantage. The analysis is that under the current U.S. postseason system, there is little advantage even if the regular season winning percentage is significantly ahead.
Japan, like the United States, has a two-major league system (Central and Pacific League), but the post-season is also conducted in stages. A greater advantage is given to the top team, and in the ‘First Stage’ (best of 3 games) in the regular season, where the 2nd and 3rd place teams face off, all games are played at the 2nd place team’s home stadium, and if the score is tied, the 2nd place winner. The winner of the first stage will play a best-of-six ‘final stage’ against each league’s winning team, with the league’s winning team playing all of its games at home and starting with one win.