When MLB instituted the Wild Card, many baseball purists gasped and wagged fingers. It will diminish the excitement that’s earned from teams trying to win the pennant during six months of baseball and 162 games, they said.
In some ways – and in some cities – they might have a point. But don’t try to make that argument in Chicago or San Francisco right about now.
The Wild Card is presenting the Cubs and the Giants with both sides of what proponents of the expanded playoff system argue makes the system so great.
The Cubs are third in the extremely tough N.L. Central but, barring a collapse, seem to have a good grasp on a Wild Card spot as the season enters the home stretch.
On the other hand, the Giants seem to have a better chance of winning the N.L. West than they do of climbing into the Wild Card.
And it just so happens that both the Cubs and Giants face each other Wednesday on Sling TV. Chicago also has the chance to do San Francisco a favor Sunday, when Cubs play the Giants’ division rival Dodgers. That game is also on Sling TV.
It’s going to be a wild finish no matter what so, if the purists still aren’t happy, at least we can all agree that the Wild Card is appropriately named.
MLB on SLING TV SCHEDULE
*All times eastern. Projected starters as of Monday. Some games subject to regional blackout.
Monday, August 24
St. Louis at Arizona, 10pm (ESPN2)
Lance Lynn vs Robbie Ray
Wednesday, August 26
Chicago Cubs at San Francisco, 10pm (ESPN)
Kyle Hendricks vs Jake Peavy
Sunday, August 30
Boston at New York Mets, 1:10pm (TBS)
Joe Kelly vs Noah Syndergaard
Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8pm (ESPN)
Jake Arrieta vs Alex Wood