How Many Games Is the AL Wild Card?

Photo of author

By Eric Wilson

The American League (AL) Wild Card is an exciting time for baseball fans everywhere. The Wild Card game determines which team from the American League will advance to the playoffs, and it’s a single-elimination game that can be nerve-wracking for players and fans alike.

How Many Games Is the AL Wild Card?

The AL Wild Card is just one game. Unlike other playoff series, the Wild Card game is a winner-takes-all affair that can make or break a team’s season in just nine innings.

What Is the Purpose of the AL Wild Card?

The purpose of the AL Wild Card is to give more teams a chance to compete in the playoffs. Before the introduction of the Wild Card in 1994, only four teams from each league made it to the postseason: the winners of each division. This meant that many good teams were left out of the playoffs every year.

The addition of the Wild Card gave more teams hope and increased fan interest in September games. It also created some memorable moments, like when Bucky Dent hit a home run to help propel his New York Yankees past their bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in a 1978 one-game playoff for a division title.

How Does a Team Qualify for the AL Wild Card Game?

To qualify for the AL Wild Card game, a team must finish in one of two spots: second place in their division or have one of two best records among non-division-winning teams. The team with the best record among non-division-winning teams gets home-field advantage.

Once two teams are selected, they play each other in one game at either stadium, with winner advances to Division Series.

The Thrill of One-Game Playoff

While some fans would prefer a longer series format for deciding who advances to postseason play, there’s no denying the excitement of a one-game playoff. Every pitch, every hit, and every error takes on added importance when there’s no tomorrow.

It’s a situation that can create unlikely heroes and gut-wrenching failures. For fans of the winning team, the thrill of victory is intense; for fans of the losing team, the agony of defeat can be unbearable.


In conclusion, the AL Wild Card is a thrilling event in baseball that gives more teams a chance to compete in the playoffs. While it’s just one game, it can have long-lasting effects on a team’s season and fanbase.

So if your favorite team is in contention for the Wild Card spot, be sure to tune in for this high-stakes game that could change everything.