There has been a little talk lately on how to handle the Wild Card round. Extend it to 7 games, make a play-in game for the WC, ect, ect, ect. This all misses the larger issue in baseball that makes getting to the post season unfair to many teams. There are actually 3 pretty big issues that I have no idea why baseball has't looked at or even allowed to continue.
I'll rank the issues in order of what I think is the most unfair:
- AL West/NL Central
- American League/National League
The second issue is that the American League has 14 teams and the National League has 16 teams. This follows the same issue as the AL West and the NL Central, but now for the Wild Card. In the AL, you are fighting against 11 other teams while in the NL you are fighting against 13 other teams. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is inherently unfair.
The last issue is with the unbalanced schedule. It is impossible to determine who gets lucky from the schedule year in and year out, but I have to presume that one team always has an advantage over another. While this isn't possible to eliminate without causing other issues, it certainly isn't fair for the Wild Card team.
To fix it, baseball should just balance everything and do it's best to not cater to moronic ideas. Put 15 teams in each league (16 teams would actually be better). Best solution is to send Milwaukee back to the AL Central and then send either Minnesota or Kansas City to the AL West.
Now that is done, balance the scedule better. Every NL team plays every AL team the same number of times. In two 15 team leagues, I think you'd need an interleague series going all the time to give that last team something to do (7 vs 7). Fine, that works for me.
Then, balance the schedule within your league and division. For the Phillies, I think 3 games against each AL team is fine. That would be 45 games. Then either 6 or 7 against the remaining NL teams not in your division. 6 each would leave you with an unbalanced number within the division. 6 games against 5 clubs and 7 versus 5 clubes is another 65 games. That is 105 of 162 games which leaves 52 against the 4 division rivals. That then leaves 13 intra-divisional games. While you are still playing more division games, it makes sense since your fist objective is to win your division to make the playoffs.
15 AL - 3 games
5 NL - 6 games
5 NL - 7 games
4 Div - 13 games
I think this ends up making the ability to reach the post season a bit mroe fair for everybody.