The unique way to settle who gets a trip to the playoffs is by far better that any tiebreaker. The atmosphere is nothing like any baseball game you will every experience, and most importantly, it is going to give you the hotter team. A team that was good early on shouldn't get a trip to the playoffs over a team that is as hot as anyone.
For the Twins and Tigers, this game represents an entire season of work. It is more stressful than any playoff game because there is zero room for error. Whether it's fair or not to have one game mean so much is irrelevant. It makes for great tv, and gives the winning team a boost heading into the post season.
Now, as if the game needed more drama, this game will be the Twins final regular season game in the Metrodome. Well, technically the last game was their last, but "the baggie" decided that it wasn't quite done.
For the Tigers, this is a nightmare of a situation because they know that this game shouldn't have happened; they should have locked the division up weeks ago. Instead, they have to walk into a hostile and emotional stadium where they have struggled. They still have as good a shot as the Twins to win, but to end up in this situation with the team they have should be seen as nothing less than a failure.
While it is true that neither of these teams has a shot in hell at winning a five game series against the Yankees, the winning of this game will do a lot for both of these teams. If Detroit wins, they will avoid the public bashing that the Mets have enjoyed for the last two years; If the Twins win, they have already won their own World Seres and they get to give their fans a few more days in the Metrodome. The bottom line is that game 163 is always huge and the effects of it ripple into the future. Just look at where the Padres are now after being heartbroken by the Rockies two years ago