MLB Betting – The Value of the Expanded MLB Playoff System

Mlb World Series

MLB Playoff Betting and Systems

For decades, MLB fans had to accept the fact that if their team did not win its divisional pennant, then there would be no shot at World Series glory. If you wanted to bet on a team that was back in the standings in August, you would probably not get very good odds on that team. MLB tried to open up the playoffs to more teams by making three divisions in each league, but even that did not seem like it was giving the fans enough to cheer for.

The problem with baseball is that your favorite team could be out of playoff contention by June and then there would not seem to be much point to playing out the rest of the season. If you bet on sports, then you were very familiar with MLB’s constricting playoff format, but there was nothing you could do about it. Things didn’t really start to change until the owners decided that they needed to generate more revenue during the season. Attendance in most of the MLB ballparks would fall off in August because most of the teams had little to play for. That is why MLB had to adopt a wild card playoff system.

The only real issue with putting a wild card spot in MLB playoffs is time. With a 162-game season, the baseball playoffs do not start until October. If MLB was to add too many wild card teams, then the World Series could be played in a November blizzard in the New Yankee Stadium. Since the owners did not want to shorten the regular season, the idea of squeezing an extra round into the MLB playoffs had to be developed.

In 1993, MLB announced that it would be adding one wild card playoff berth to each league starting in 1994. The fans and the online sports books loved the idea, and it became an instant success. Some of the baseball purists complained that only pennant winning teams should be in the playoffs. But with revenue dropping off sharply in many MLB cities by the end of July, the owners disagreed with the purists.

Since the wild card berth was first implemented in 1994, four teams have gone on to win five World Series titles (the Florida Marlins won the World Series twice as a wild card). With that kind of success, the MLB owners started discussing adding a second wild card playoff berth to the mix. The idea was first brought up in 1999, but it was not put into effect until 2012. The format allowed for one more wild card playoff team in each league in a format that would see the two wild card teams face each other in a one-game playoff to see which team would move on to the divisional round.

Betonline reviews of the MLB wild card system have been nothing but positive. The fans would like to see more wild card teams in the playoffs, but the length of the MLB regular season would not allow it. For now, baseball fans will have to settle for a system that allows five teams from each league to have their shot at winning a World Series championship.

Click here to read more about the wild card and divisional favorites in this year’s MLB playoffs.


Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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