Online Staff Report
Major League Baseball announced Nov. 17 that by 2013, two wild card teams will be added to the playoffs and the Houston Astros will move from the National League Central to the American League West.
Had the proposed addition of two more wild card teams — one from the American League and one from the National League — been in place this past season, the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves would have qualified as wild cards. Under that format, the Red Sox would have faced the other American League wild card team — the Tampa Bay Rays — and the Braves would have faced the other National League wild card team — the St. Louis Cardinals — in respective one-game playoffs.
The addition of the two wild card positions means five teams from both leagues will qualify for the postseason — three division winners and two wild cards.
The two wild-card teams could be added for the 2012 season, but will definitely be in place by 2013, the same year the Astros will move to the American League.
The Houston Astros will move from the National League Central, which currently has six teams, to the American League West, which currently has four teams. The move will create a total of six divisions with five teams each and two leagues with 15 teams. Currently, the National League has 16 teams and the American League has 14 teams.