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Wildcard Game added to 2019 playoffs
Best third-placed team to be rewarded with spot in WC Game
08/21/2018 8:56 PM ET
 

The Australian Baseball League playoffs are set to expand with the introduction of a Wildcard Game for the 2019 postseason.

All eight team owners will meet on the Gold Coast this week to tick off on the league's rules and finalise the playoff structure, including the addition of a Wildcard Game.

Baseball Australia chief operating officer Ben Foster told theabl.com.au the introduction of Wildcard Game had been well received by teams.

"We've completed all the preliminary groundwork and analysis and had a really positive response from team owners about adding a Wildcard Game," Foster said.

"Now the licenses for Perth and Melbourne have been finalised we will have all eight owners in the same room for the first time, allowing us to officially sign off on our plans.

"We're really excited about the concept and are confident it will be a popular addition to the calendar.

"The availability of an extra postseason spot will also intensify the playoff race."

Foster said the expanded league and move to two divisions had driven a rethink of the playoff format.

"With the move to divisions there is the possibility of one division being stronger than the other, which gives merit to the best third-placed team qualifying for a Wildcard Game," he said.

"We only need to look at the current standings in the American League and a team like the New York Yankees who have more wins than the Central and West division leaders.

"But without wildcard spots they could miss the playoffs just because they're in the same division as a team putting together one of the best regular seasons ever."

The full playoff format will be revealed following this week's meeting of team owners.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.