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Wild Card

What is Wild Card?

A term in baseball that refers to a team that did not win its division by the end of the regular season, but has the best record among all non-division winners in the league.  Such a team qualifies for the playoffs and can compete for the baseball championship.

Sporting Charts explains Wild Card - baseball

In baseball there is one wild card team from both the National and American Leagues, selected at the end of the regular season based on their wins. A wild card team can come from any division, meaning that there are always at least two playoff teams in each league that are part of the same division. Although the wild card team's playoff candidacy is determined by wins, it can be the case that the wild card team will have more wins than the winner of a different division.

With the exception of the World Series, any wild card team will surrender home-field advantage against its opponent in the playoffs. At the onset of the playoffs, the wild card team always faces the team with the most wins in the league.

The wild card was first used in baseball in 1995 as a means to increase the excitement of the postseason and to give teams who did not win their division a chance to compete for a playoff berth.

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