Starting this year, two more teams, one from each league were added to the playoff field. The reason behind it was so that the "Wild Card Teams" would have to fight to advance instead of being on even footing with the three division winners from their respective leagues. This year, there were plenty of surprises as a couple of teams who had not made it into the postseason in more than a decade are moving on thanks to the extra wild card slot.
So before the end of the week, the following wild card teams will play in a winner-takes-all one game playoff to advance into the divisional tournament on Friday, October 5:
- The Texas Rangers, the two-time defending AL Champions, who all but had the AL West division title wrapped up, now find themselves playing for the chance to defend their title by hosting a one-game playoff against the surprising Baltimore Orioles. It is the first time Baltimore had a winning season since the team reached the postseason in 1997.
- The St. Louis Cardinals, the defending World Series Champions, visit Atlanta to take on the Braves, who return to postseason play for the first time since 2010.