It seems like the lower ranked nations are the only losers with the new format. They’re likely to get one less game on the WBC stage. This discussion has brought that to the surface. My question is “Can there be a better format?”
The following doesn’t deviate too much from the previous format:
In a pool of four teams the three way tie is the problem. Let’s look at the only the two 3-way tie scenarios possible, from the 2006 WBC. Both are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
The team with the lowest Runs Allowed per 9 innings (RA/9), in this case, Mexico advances to the next round, but a tiebreaker game where the USA hosts Canada is played to determine the second berth. This format wouldn’t take more than 7 games and every team would play each other. The other scenario is more complicated, because there is only one berth available.
1)Pool B Tiebreaker
Mexico 2-1 1-1, 1.59 RA/9
USA 2-1 1-1, 4.00 RA/9
Canada 2-1 1-1, 7.50 RA/9
In this case Mexico would be eliminated, because it has the highest RA/9, therefore Japan hosts the USA in a tiebreaker game to advance to the next round. Again, this format wouldn’t take more than 7 games and every team would play each other. There is a double standard, but remember a team with a winning record will only be eliminated on the field and a team with a losing record can be eliminated by a formula.
2)Pool 1 Tiebreaker
Japan 1-2 1-1, 2.50 RA/9
USA 1-2 1-1, 2.64 RA/9
Mexico 1-2 1-1, 3.50 RA/9