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MLB Postseason: Will First-Round Byes Hinder The Title Chances Of The Favorites?

As it stands today, the Cleveland Guardians and the St. Louis Cardinals would both be protected 3 seeds, while the top Wild Card (4 seed) holds a better record. In the case of Cleveland,  every  Wild Card team would have a higher winning percentage. However, the Guardians and Cardinals would be able to avoid a head-to-head clash with their league's top seed until the ALCS/NLCS. The MLB bracket is slotted with division winners 1-3 and does not re-seed  — serving up the "worst" remaining team to the best  —  after the Wild Card Series. Because the Championship Series requires an opponent to beat you more times (best-of-seven (vs. a best-of-five Division Series), the odds of upsetting the 1 seed increase dramatically in later rounds. Three losses can be shrugged off without yet being eliminated.  Should a Wild Card team advance all the way to the World Series, while getting pushed to the brink each round, they would play 22 games (3, 5, 7, 7).  The record for most games play
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MLB Relocation: What All This Means For Oakland

The latest odds I saw from a sports book had Athletics relocation at -260 and moving to Las Vegas at +150. So there's hope. Not exactly a line I'd be willing to wager $100 on, but they still appear in my Option 1 above for a viable reason.  I feel bad penning a requiem for the Oakland Athletics in any of the other hypothetical scenarios. There are hundreds of California-based jobs on the line. At this point, with the NBA's Warriors and the NFL's Raiders already outta there, there's an entire community's livelihood at stake. The acreage around RingCentral Coliseum and Oracle Arena will begin to look like one of America's ghostly  abandoned amusement parks . Even if the Warriors' move was only 17 miles away, the two organizations  left the A's holding the bag. Sure,  their owners faced backlash   —   internally as loud as the outside noise . Then again, they also weren't the last to leave; the ones "responsible" for Oakland having nothing

MLB Expansion: Handicapping Who Joins, What History Tells Us Will Change

Rendering of TVA Arhitects' Proposed Portland MLB Stadium THE PROCESS OF selecting Major League Baseball's 31st and  32nd franchises reminds me an awful lot of Joe Lunardi's Bracketology  each March  — namely the Bubble Watch . Those college basketball teams with a weak-enough (yet strong-enough) record to find themselves on that "First Four Out" line get told the same thing each and every year: Handle your business down the stretch and root hard for every nationally-ranked favorite in a one-bid league to handle theirs.  If you are the MLB expansion group in Portland or Charlotte, this "win and get some help" situation is the one you currently find yourself in. Las Vegas and Nashville are going to Major League Baseball's equivalent of the "Big Dance." You just have to hope and pray they don't steal away your one and only method of joining them.  What We Know: If the Oakland Athletics do not get their Howard Terminal Project  —  a 34,0