How Many Games Is the NL Wild Card?

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By Monica Bates

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the National League (NL) Wild Card game is a one-game playoff that determines which team will advance to the National League Division Series (NLDS). The NL Wild Card game was first introduced in 2012, and it has been a thrilling addition to the MLB postseason ever since.

The Format of the NL Wild Card Game

The NL Wild Card game features the two non-division-winning teams with the best records in the league. This means that two teams from different divisions can face off against each other in this game. The winner of the NL Wild Card game advances to play one of the division winners in a best-of-five series, while the other division winner plays against another Wild Card team.

Number of Games

As previously mentioned, the NL Wild Card game is a one-game playoff. This means that only one game is played to determine which team will move on to compete for the chance at winning a World Series title.

When Does It Take Place?

The NL Wild Card game takes place after the regular season ends but before the Division Series begins. Typically, this falls on either Tuesday or Wednesday following the last day of regular season games.

Controversies and Criticisms

While many fans love the excitement and drama of a sudden-death playoff game, some have criticized it for being unfair. In particular, some argue that it’s not fair that two teams with similar records have their entire season come down to just one game.

However, others argue that it’s an excellent way to reward teams for having strong seasons while still providing an exciting playoff atmosphere. It’s worth noting that since its inception in 2012, no team has won more than one Wild Card Game in any given year.


In conclusion, if you’re a fan of baseball, the NL Wild Card game is an exciting addition to the postseason. While it may only be one game, it’s a game that can make or break a team’s season. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the excitement of the NL Wild Card game!