One thing we've not yet seen -- but will someday! -- is a three-team tie. For anything. But it might happen this year!
It's unlikely, of course, because the Rays are two games ahead of the Rangers with only three to play. But of course stranger things have happened. But for real strangeness, the Indians will have to coöperate, because they're sandwiched between the R's and the other R's.
So what happens if there's a three-way tie? Here's the procedure, straight from an MLB press release:
If the three Clubs are tied after Sunday's games, then the tie will be broken using the following system. Since the three Clubs each won one season series and lost one season series against each other in head-to-head competition in the regular season, MLB will use a system of designations - as Club A, Club B or Club C - based on their combined winning percentages in head-to-head competition against one another in the regular season.
Club A would host Club B on Monday, with the winner earning a Wild Card. The loser of Monday's game would then play at Club C on Tuesday, with Tuesday's winner earning the other Wild Card. Home-field advantage in Wednesday's A.L. Wild Card Game would be determined by the head-to-head record between the two Clubs that earned the Wild Card berths.
Because the Indians posted the highest winning percentage, they had the first choice of designation. The Indians opted to be Club A.
With the second-best record among the three Clubs, the Rays opted to be Club B.
The Rangers received the remaining designation as Club C.
Thus, if the three Clubs are tied after Sunday's games, then the Indians would host the Rays on Monday, with the winner becoming an A.L. Wild Card. The losing Club in Monday's game would then play against the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday, with the winner of that game becoming the other A.L. Wild Card.
I haven't run the numbers. I'm sure the Indians and the Rays have. Probably the Rangers too, even though they wound up not having a choice in the matter. I'm sure the numbers are pretty clear. It's obvious that if you've got the first choice, because you get a home game and you get two chances to win. Maybe it's not quite as obvious if you've got the second choice, because you're looking at the possibility of two road games. But you've got a significantly better chance of winning one of two road games than one home game.
You might decide differently in football or basketball or even soccer, where the home-field advantages are so large. But in baseball it's a relatively trifling thing. So it's essentially the last consideration.
By the way, if there's a two-way tie for the second slot, the club that won the head-to-head series will host the one-game playoff on Monday.
Update: This might actually happen! And if it does, we've got officially times!