I just finished a challenging season in my Red Sox franchise. I've been playing with the most realistic roster I could. Ridinrosters trade deadline roster. I manually ILed player like Sale, E Rod, Benintendi and such to use a realistic team. A strategy of quick manage and sim. Somehow I managed to put myself in an interesting position after 162 games and so did a lot of teams.
After 162 games the Yankees, Indians and Angels win divisions in AL. With the rays securing the first wild card spot. In the NL the Braves, Reds and Dodgers win divisions. The Padres secured the first wild card.
Here's where it gets interesting 4 teams in each league tied for the second wild card spot. In the AL its the Twins, Athletics, Blue Jays and my Red Sox all tied with a 88-74 record. In the NL the Cubs, Brewers, Phillies and Mets all tied with a 80-82 record.
Oddly enough this created a 16 team play off essentially. Even though it will be whittled down to just 10 teams after 4 game 163's and 2 game 164's.
Note that I did not manipulate any games to get to this point. This is how the chips organically fell after a 162 game sim.
For my Red Sox I simmed the first 102 and quick managed the final 60 playing key moments.
Let the 16 team "play offs" begin lol