The Toronto Blue Jays are in second place in the American League East one and one-half games behind the division-leading New York Yankees. The Jays are, however, leading the A.L. Wild Card race with a three-game lead for the first of the two wild card playoff spots.
Since Major League Baseball went to the Wild Card format in 1995, the Blue Jays have never been a Wild Card team. Should they lose out to the Yankees for the A.L. East crown but win one of the two A.L. Wild Card spots, it would be a first for the team.
There have been 23 Wild Card teams in the MLB playoffs in each league since ’95 (MLB added a second Wild Card for each league starting with the 2012 season). Did you know which team has benefitted the most from the Wild Card since its inception? If you guessed the Boston Red Sox, give yourself a pat on the back. The Red Sox have been a Wild Card representative in baseball’s playoffs seven times. Their division-mates, the Yankees, are second on the list with four appearances in the post-season as a Wild Card team. The Cardinals and Rockies have made it to the MLB playoffs as a Wild Card three times each since 1995, tied for most in the National League.
Here’s a look at how many times each division has had a team win the Wild Card spot in the MLB playoffs since ’95.
American League East: 15
American League West: 5
American League Central: 3
National League Central: 10
National League West 7
National League East: 6
Through games of August 20, the Blue Jays and Angels hold the two A.L. Wild Card spots while in the National League a pair of N.L. Central teams, the Pirates and Cubs, are holding tight to the Wild Card spots.
Prior to the start of this season, there were eight franchises that have never won a Wild Card spot in the playoffs since 1995. They are: A.L. East (Toronto), A.L. Central (Chicago White Sox and Minnesota), A.L. West (Houston)*, N.L. East (Philadelphia and Washington), N.L. West (Arizona and San Diego).
- The Astros were a Wild Card team twice in the N.L. Central, but have not won a Wild Card spot in the A.L. West.
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