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MLB playoff picture: Bracket, standings, new format explained with 12-team postseason field set

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With just one day left of the 2022 Major League Baseball regular season, the 12-team extended playoff bracket has already been completed. The Phillies became the 12th and final team to make it to the playoffs on Monday, while the Braves won the NL East over the Mets on Tuesday. The 2022 MLB Playoffs kick off Friday with a best-of-three Wild Card Series.

Now let’s move on to the standings, playoff matches and playoff chances, and remember that the structure of the postseason has changed since this year.

clinch spots

  • Dodgers: NL West clinch, No. 1 seed in the NL, home field all postseason.
  • Astros: Won AL West, No. 1 seed in AL
  • Mets: Finished 4th in NL
  • Braves: Clinch NL East, No. 2 seed in the NL
  • Yankees: Won AL East, No. 2 seed in AL
  • Guardians: Clinched AL Central, No. 3 seed in AL
  • Cardinals: Clinched NL Central, No. 3 seed in the NL
  • Blue Jays: ranked 4th in AL
  • Mariners: finished 5th in AL
  • Race: ranked 6th in AL
  • Padres: No. 5 seed in Holland
  • Phillies: ranked 6th in NL

New playoff format with 12 teams.

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During recent negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, players and owners agreed on a new and expanded post-season structure. This new structure starts from the current season and here is a reminder of how it will work.

  • The post-season field increases from 10 to 12 teams with the addition of an additional wildcard member in each league.
  • The Wild Card game has been replaced with a best-of-three Wild Card Series that functions as the first round of the game. The higher seed in each Wild Card Series will host all the games in that series, whether it be two or a maximum of three games.
  • The top two division winners in each league, determined by the best overall record in the regular season, receive a first-round bye. This means that they go directly to the best-of-five division series, which functions as a second round.
  • The four entrants to the wildcard round in each league include the divisional winner with the worst record among divisional winners and the top three out-of-divisional winners with the best record. That division winner automatically becomes the #3 seed regardless of whether one or all of the other wildcard teams have the best record.
  • To recap, here’s how each league’s playoff seeding will play out – No. 1 seed (so far, LDS): League best; No. 2 seed (bye, LDS): second-best record among division winners; No. 3 seed: third-best record among division winners; Seeding No. 4: best result among wild-card teams; Seeding #5: Second-best result among wildcard teams; Seeding #6: Third-best result among wildcard teams.
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The League Championship Series and the World Series remain best-of-seven series, with home field advantage going to the team with the best record in each series. Note that there is no reseeding after a round.

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Clear? That’s how things are now when it comes to racing for those spots and seeds.


American League

  • Bye: No. 1 Astros and No. 2 Yankees
  • Wild card series: No. 5 Mariners at No. 4 Blue Jays (winner faces No. 1 seed)
  • Wild card series: No. 6 Rays at No. 3 Guardians (winner faces No. 2 seed)

National League

  • Bye: No. 1 Dodgers and No. 2 Braves
  • Wild card series: Padres No. 5 at Mets No. 4 (winner faces seed No. 1)
  • Wild card series: No. 6 Phillies ranked Cardinals No. 3 (winner faces No. 2 seed)

Major League Baseball standings

(Postseason predictions courtesy of SportsLine; full standings can be viewed here)

NY Yankees (signed AL East)9962100.0%
Toronto (won a place at the World Cup)91697.5100.0%
Tampa Bay (WC seat)867513.0100.0%
Baltimore (dropped out)827816.50.0%
Boston (dropped out)778422.00.0%
Cleveland (signed by AL Central)9170100.0%
Chi. White Sox (dropped out)818010.00.0%
Minnesota (dropped out)778414.00.0%
Detroit (dropped out)669525.00.0%
Kansas City (dropped out)659626.00.0%
Houston (signed AL West)10556100.0%
Seattle (won a seat at WC)897216.0100.0%
Los Angeles Angels (dropped out)738831.00.0%
Texas (dropped out)679438.00.0%
Oakland (dropped out)5910246.00.0%
Atlanta (concluded NL East)10160100.0%
New York Mets (winning playoff berth)100611.0100.0%
Philadelphia (qualified for the playoffs)877414.0100.0%
Miami (dropped out)689333.00.0%
Washington (dropped out)5510646.00.0%
St. Louis (signed by NL Central)9368100.0%
Milwaukee (dropped out)86757.00.0%
Chi. Cubs (dropped out)738820.00.0%
Cincinnati (dropped out)629931.00.0%
Pittsburgh (dropped out)6110032.00.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers (signed NL West)11051100.0%
San Diego (winning playoff berth)897221.0100.0%
San Francisco (dropped out)808130.00.0%
Arizona (dropped out)738837.00.0%
Colorado (dropped out)689342.00.0%

MLB standings wild card

Toronto (won first place in the World Cup)9169+5.5
Seattle (second place at the World Cup)8972+3.0
Tampa Bay (placed third in the World Championship)8675
NY Mets (ranked #1 in Worlds)10061+13.0
San Diego (second place at the World Cup)8972+2.0
Philadelphia (placed third at Worlds)8774


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