This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.
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"This is the eighth season in which we’ve had ten playoff teams, with four of them squaring off in one-game 'rounds' to advance to the Division Series in each league. I’ve called it the 'Coin Flip Round' from the start, because when two good teams play a single game, the outcome is akin to flipping a coin. Heck, when a good team plays a bad team, you sometimes get results like Orioles 13, Indians 0. (Twice.) So when the Nationals play the Brewers, or the Rays play the A’s, variance swamps everything."