American League Wild Card One-Game Playoff
Without a doubt, the American League Wild Card Playoff Game is one of the most exciting events of the baseball season. Rather than having an entire series to battle toward the next round, the two teams participating in the Wild Card Game have just a single opportunity to advance. The strategy used for a nine-inning playoff is much different than what is seen in a full series, and the home crowd tends to play a big factor in the action.
The first AL Wild Card One-Game Playoff was contested in 2012. In that season, the American League Playoff field was expanded from four teams to five, creating the need for a play-in game before the divisional round of the playoffs could begin. In that first year, the Baltimore Orioles went on the road and defeated the Texas Rangers 5-1.
A Memorable Battle
In 2014, a thrilling AL Wild Card Game was played between the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals. Oakland led 7-3 entering the bottom of the 8th inning in Kansas City. Incredibly, the Royals scored three in the eighth to draw within a run, and scored again in the ninth to tie it. In the 12th, Oakland took the lead with a run of their own, only to see it wiped away with two Kansas City runs in the bottom of the inning to seal the deal. Oakland was eliminated in shocking fashion, and Kansas City would wind up in the World Series, where they would lose to the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
Since its inception, the Wild Card Game (in both the American and National Leagues) has been a huge success. The drama of these games is undeniable, and it makes for a great fan experience in the ballpark.
Questions and Answers
Q: Where is the AL Wild Card Game played?
A: The team with the better record during the regular season is given the right to host the Wild Card Game.
Q: When is the AL Wild Card Game played?
A: The game is played either two or three days after the conclusion of the regular season. The regular season ends on a Sunday (weather dependent), and the game is played on Tuesday or Wednesday of that week.
Q: When do AL Wild Card Game tickets go on sale?
A: Tickets will usually be put on sale when it becomes clear that the team is going to participate in this game. The exact date of ticket availability will depend on how the season plays out.
Q: How much to AL Wild Card Game tickets cost?
A: AL Wild Card Game ticket prices can vary based on a number of factors. The market that is hosting the game will play a big role, as does the individual seating section within the stadium. As a general guideline, the average resale ticket price for the AL Wild Card Round is around $140.