Major League Baseball has announced that it is adding an extra Wild Card team to each league, and the postseason will be expanded to a 10 team format.
The move has been anticipated for quite some time, and the change will have an immediate effect on the game's landscape.
Starting this season, two teams will secure Wild Cards from each league, and they will subsequently square off in a one-game elimination series prior to the Divisional round. Each winner will advance to play a division winner, and the MLB will resume its traditional format from that point on. One format change that is possible, however, is the sequence of game locations, a source told SB Nation's Amy Nelson. Nelson notes the possibility that the division winners who take on the Wild Card elimination series winners could start the Divisional Series on the road, playing the first two games away from home. The final three games in the best-of-five series would then shift back to the division winner's city.
In previous years, the Wild Card has had to travel for the first two games of the Divisional series, and the MLB followed a 2-2-1 format. The proposed format of 2-3, with the first two games being played at the Wild Card's home stadium, is driven by restraints on travel time due to the already determined regular season schedule. The MLB will adjust its schedule to accommodate travel requisites in 2013.