The rumored changes to the MLB Playoff format have been made official today, with an additional wild card team being added in each league. The two wild card teams in each league will then play each other in a one-game playoff to determine who competes against one of the division winners in the Division Series.
In a strange quirk for the 2012 season, however, division winners will end up playing its first two playoff games on the road.
For the 2012 Postseason only, the five-game Division Series will begin
with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games
for higher seeds. This one-year change will eliminate a travel day
prior to a decisive Game Five of the Division Series and was necessary
because the 2012 regular season schedule was announced before the
agreement on the new Postseason was reached. Next year, the Division
Series will return to the 2-2-1 format used in previous years.
That's pretty weird. If the Phillies win the NL East as they've become so accustomed to doing, they'd play their first two games in the NLDS on the road in 2012.
We get that it's all about scheduling at they've already laid out the plans for 2012, but that doesn't make it any less strange.
Rather than "diluting" value of reg season, new format dilutes value of wild card, thus increasing value of division title.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) March 2, 2012
Sources say both wild-card games will be on same day (Fri, 10/5). The 2 LDS that don't involve WC start Saturday. Other 2 start Sunday.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 2, 2012