In a Wall Street Journal article on how stupid a five-game opening series is, they have the following statistics:
-The team with the better record wins only 48% of the time.
-100-win teams have won 10 of 19 Division Series
Brad Ausmus, a former Houston Astros catcher, said his team's 1998 loss to the San Diego Padres was partly driven by the schedule. The first three games of the series were played over five days, which enabled San Diego to use its ace pitcher, Kevin Brown, twice. San Diego won both games and took the series. "When the schedule allows you to pitch the best pitcher in the league twice in the first three games, I wouldn't say that's the best system for judging who the better team is," says Mr. Ausmus, now with the Dodgers.
"I couldn't be happier. When I instituted the wild card, it was controversial. Some were saying, 'He's going to ruin baseball.' But what a great history."
That's, uh, not exactly answering the question. We're not talking about the Wild Card, but making the playoffs more fair.
Any changes in the works?
All the criticism aside, Mr. Selig says no changes are planned to the format. He disagrees with the idea that teams with the best records aren't properly rewarded. He points out that the division winner with the better record during the season gets to play the first two games at home, plus the potential fifth and deciding game. "That's a pretty good advantage," he says.