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MLB playoff picture: Standings, projections, bracket, new format explained as Yankees, Guardians clinch spots

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The 2022 Major League Baseball season is drawing to a close and the focus is on the race for playoff spots. Six teams (the Dodgers, Astros, Mets, Braves, Yankees, and Guardian) have won 12-team playoff berths, but very little still hangs in the balance as the end less than 10 days left of the regular season. The NL East is still heavily contested (the Mets are one game ahead of the Braves, with the all-time weekend series approaching), while in the NL the Padres, Phillies and Brewers compete for the last two wildcard spots. In the AL Rays, the Blue Jays and the Mariners are vying for wildcard seeding.

The league-leading Dodgers became the first team to make the playoffs earlier this month (after some initial confusion). Los Angeles then claimed its ninth NL West title in 10 years. The Astros won the AL West on Monday night, the same day the Mets won their first playoff spot since 2016. The Braves, who remain within reach of the Mets in the NL East, blew their ticket to the playoffs last Tuesday, and the Yankees have followed suit. on Thursday. The Guardians closed AL Central on Sunday.

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The magic number for the Yankees in the AL East is two, and the magic number for the Cardinals in NL Central is three.

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Now let’s move on to the detailed standings, current playoff fixtures and postseason odds, and remember that the structure of the postseason has changed since this year.

clinch spots

  • Dodgers: NL West Clinch, First Round Bye, NL Home Field Advantage
  • Astros: AL West clinch, bye in the first round
  • Mets: Playoffs
  • Braves: Playoffs
  • Yankees: Playoffs
  • Guardians: Clinched AL Central

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.

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.

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

If the season ended today…

American League

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

National League

  • Bye: No. 1 Dodgers and No. 2 Mets
  • Wild card series: No. 5 Padres to No. 4 Braves (winner faces No. 1 seed)
  • 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)

New York Yankees (qualified for the playoffs)9459100.0%
Tampa Bay846910.099.6%
Boston (dropped out)728122.00.0%
Cleveland (signed by AL Central)8667100.0%
Chi. White socks767710.0
Kansas City (dropped out)639023.00.0%
Detroit (dropped out)609225.50.0%
Houston (signed AL West)10153100.0%
Los Angeles Angels (dropped out)678633.50.0%
Texas (dropped out)658735.00.0%
Oakland (dropped out)569744.50.0%
New York Mets (winning playoff berth)9757100.0%
Atlanta (qualified for playoffs)96581.0100.0%
Miami (dropped out)639033.50.0%
Washington (dropped out)5310043.50.0%
Saint Louis8965100%
Chi. Cubs (dropped out)678621.50.0%
Cincinnati (dropped out)609429.00.0%
Pittsburgh (dropped out)579732.00.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers (signed NL West)10647100.0%
San Diego856821.094.3%
San Francisco757831.00.0%
Arizona (dropped out)718335.50.0%
Colorado (dropped out)658841.00.0%

MLB standings wild card

Tampa Bay8469+0.5
Atlanta (qualified for playoffs)9658+10.5
San Diego8568+1.5


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