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AL Wild Card Race: In Event Of Three-Way Tie, Tampa Bay Rays Choose One-Game Oprtion For Tiebreaker

With just three games remaining in the 2011 MLB season, there’s still lots to be determined on the baseball field. At least in the American League Wild Card race where three teams are still very much in contention for one of the four precious playoff berths. Those three teams, of course, are the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Here’s where things stand heading into Monday night’s action.

Boston Red Sox: 89-70
Tampa Bay Rays: 88-71
Los Angeles Angeles: 86-73

Obviously it’s a long-shot that the Angels make up those three games with just three left to play, but in the wild and wacky event that the Red Sox lost all three, the Angels won all three, and the Rays lost two of their remaining three, there would be a unique tiebreaker scenario.

Major League Baseball announced today the tiebreaking sequence that would
be played if the regular season ends with a three-way tie for the American
League Wild Card.

If the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim finish in a three-way tie for the Wild Card, then two games will be
played in the first two days after the regular season. The games will be
played according to designations based on the head-to-head three-way
records among the tied clubs:

Because the Rays had the best record against the Angels and Red Sox, they had first choice of how they would like to proceed. And unsurprisingly, they opted to play a one-game tiebreaker against the winner of the Red Sox-Angels Friday night (provided any of this is still in play by then).

“I like the idea of only having to play one game,‘’ manager Joe Maddon said. "Starting pitching, you can point it in that one direction, going on the road doesn’t necessarily bother us. … The idea of just playing one and not two games makes a lot of sense.’’

We’ll revisit this scenario tomorrow and the rest of the week provided that tonight’s action doesn’t eliminate any of the three squads. The Rays are set to take on the Yankees at home; the Red Sox are in Baltimore; and the Angels host the Rangers out west.

Stay tuned!

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.