It’s been a long and strange season in Major League Baseball. The standings at the end of the regular season don’t exactly look like they were projected to look before the season started, or even at the All-Star Break. With perceived World Series contending teams like the Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s staying home, surprising teams like the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers made their way into the postseason. The MLB Playoffs will kick off with the Wild Card games and ticket demand for the two games are on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
The American League will be the first to play the single-elimination game on Tuesday night when the Houston Astros will head to the Bronx to face the New York Yankees. During parts of the regular season, both teams appeared to be the favorites to win their respective divisions, but late slumps and other rising teams bumped these two to the Wild Card round. While ticket prices in New York are typically among the most expensive in the league, Yankees tickets for the AL Wild Card game are the least expensive on the secondary market since the inception of the game in 2012. The current average price is $192.05 with a get-in price of $54. Since 2012, no American League Wild Card Game had an average below $200 or a get-in price below $70.
The Yankees backed into home field advantage during the final day of the season after losing to the Baltimore Orioles 9-4. However later in the day the Astros also lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing the Yankees to host the game at Yankee Stadium. AL Cy Young contender Dallas Keuchel will take the mound for the Astros, while Masahiro Tanaka will be the starter for the Yankees. The winner of the game will take on the Kansas City Royals.
In the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Wild Card Game for the third straight season. The Pirates are 1-1 in the previous two games. Unlike the National League, Pirates tickets for the NL WIld Card Game will be the most expensive since 2012. The current average price for Wednesday night’s game is $317.30 with a get-in price of $98. Pittsburgh and the opposing Chicago Cubs finished the season with the second and third best records in the National League, but were relegated to the Wild Card Game because the league’s best record belonged to the St. Louis Cardinals in the same division. Chicago’s 97 wins were five more than the next best division winner, the Los Angeles Dodgers with 92.
Pittsburgh will see a showdown of aces for the Wild Card Game, as Jake Arrieta will take on Gerrit Cole. The winner of the game will play the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.