In fact, the fact that the Diamondbacks and the Rockies cannot finish with the same record is also rather detrimental to the prospect of a “true” four-team tie. For example, let’s say that the following happens:
Padres go 1-2, finish at 89-73
Phillies go 2-1, finish at 89-73
Mets go 2-1, finish at 89-73
Rockies (playing Diamondbacks) go 2-1, finish at 89-73
Diamondbacks (playing Rockies) go 1-2, finish at 90-72
That creates four teams tied at 89-73 … but in Major League Baseball’s eyes, this represents two two-way ties rather than one four-way tie. The Phillies play the Mets for the NL East title. The loser of that game is at 89-74, and therefore is no longer tied for the Wild Card. So you simply have the Padres and Rockies, both 89-73, in a one-game playoff for the Wild Card slot.
I apologize for the error. This used to be correct, but it simply isn’t any longer. From Clay Davenport (and a couple dozen loyal readers):
Sorry, Nate, but I think you are wrong about your four-way tie scenario.
MLB changed it a couple years ago, so that, quote,
Any playoff games played to determine a Division champion shall not count in determining which Clubs are deemed tied for a Wild Card designation. Clubs that were originally tied with a Club or Clubs for a Wild Card designation shall still be considered tied.
For scheduling purposes, MLB would probably make the Rockies and Padres play-off while the Phils and Mets decided their division title. The loser of Phillies/Mets would then play the winner of COL/SD, i.e, be team C.
Thus, there remain two distinct scenarios by which a four-way tie can still be achieved. My apologies again, and I hope you can forgive the confusion.