Transcript and recording here.
This was based on a much longer conversation. I’ll just add that yes, not only do wild card teams not always get blown out, they sometimes win! The larger point stands, though — if the pennant winners are drawn somewhat uniformly from the best four teams in the league, you’re more likely to have a mismatched World Series than you were in olden times, when the pennant winner was usually the best team in its league.
Here’s my old Slate piece on why the World Series should be stopped when one team goes up 3-0, but should go to best of 9 if the first six games split 3-3.
If you like Mike Pesca’s voice and you like smart sports talk, I highly recommend Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast.